a journey of acceptance

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Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161
a journey of acceptance

I just wanted a place to put my thoughts, and I do hope that, if anyone reads this, that it will bring hope when I finally bring my child/children home someday. All I know now is that we will be parents!

About me and DH: We are Catholics. I bring that up first because it has so much to do with our TTC/adopt journey. It's not the top thing on my mind all the time, but our faith is important to us and I respect the decisions of the Church and am always open to learning more, whether I feel like debating it or not. And the Church has a lot to say about TTC, so it's a factor.

So anyway, DH and I met at a Bible study. He was wearing his Americorp shirt and I went right over to him after the talk (on marriage preparation, of all things!). I was a teacher through Americorp at the time, and knew we'd have something in common. He was so friendly, and I couldn't stop thinking about him. A year and a half later, we got married Biggrin

We got married at a Catholic church, and the priest made us take NFP classes. We were going to anyway. We (well, I) decided that we were going to wait at least a year before TTC. We wanted to buy a house, and we figured that I had to work for a year before we'd have enough saved for a house. Well, a year before I even met DH, I got diagnosed with PCOS, but it wasn't so bad. However, when I started charting a year before the wedding, I realized how infrequently I O.

By the time we got married, I decided to stop postponing TTC. I figured it would take awhile. We started TTC the very first night. And, 8 months later, I know I was right. Since the wedding in June I have O'd twice, once on clomid. Our BD timing was perfect both times, but I've never been pg.

My emotions have run the gamut in the past 8 months. Sometimes I think I haven't been trying long enough to worry. Other times I feel like it's hopeless. I rarely O, and my O's are weak and I have LPD. I can't take progesterone to bring on AF on a long cycle because it makes me wicked-depressed. I hated clomid, and each cycle, with monitoring, costs over $300. Mostly I hate the (warning, TMI) rectal bleeding which makes my anal fissure much worse. Yeah, fun--I'm only 27! Anyway, so I hate clomid but I haven't ruled it out for the future.

As for the treatment, I hate the way the doctors treat people like they're a broken machine. I hate the pressure from paying so much (to us, $300 is a lot) just to "fail a test". I hate putting my life on hold and the obsessive what-ifs. And, partly because of the Catholic thing and partly because of the doctor's attitude, I won't go any further than clomid. Plus, if $300 is a lot...can you imagine? And I want kids naturally, and if clomid feels forced enough there is no way I'd be comfortable with anything else.

After the failed clomid cycle in December I spent January finding a house. We close on it next Monday! And I'm really excited because we're getting a dog next month. That will give me March-May to get the address changes done and get the dog settled in. Neither DH or I have ever had a dog so we have a lot to learn.

In June, I get to go help my cousin with her twins that are due in May. I've never helped with infants before, and she has 6 older kids that I'll babysit and help with, too. I can't wait! I'm nervous but excited to learn so much.

After June, I'm finally going to get serious about finding a job. I have been unemployed since I quit my teaching job at the end of the last school year, a week before the wedding. So this will give me a year to deal with wedding/house/dog/infertility before working again. I have no idea where I want to work, only that I want to start saving for adoption.

As for adoption, DH and I don't want to compete with other couples to be chosen by a BM for a newborn. We want to adopt kids who are legally free in the foster-care system. Siblings if we can't conceive, or one or two separate ones if we can conceive one or two of our own. I've already found an agency, Gladney, that I want to work with when we're ready.

I don't know about our timing or our age range. I just hope God will lead us through that. I know that the one-year mark, after I get back from my cousin's, will be hard. I know my DH and I really want to be parents. We feel ready. But, with getting older kids, it might be weird since our friends and family all have infants right now. We may get a kid as old as 9! So I feel like we should wait a few years at least. Plus, I may not even be infertile, just taking longer that we expected.

As for DH, he's so supporting about whatever I decide. He's excited about adoption and understanding when I'm hormonal (well, he tolerates me when I'm having a hard time tolerating myself!). He trusts my timing, too. He just wants to be a daddy.

So, anyway, that's the background. If you got through that you deserve a medal!

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

This week has been so stressful but I got good news and had a great day today. We close on the house Monday--wow, so close!--and I'm freaking a little about the commitment. I haven't even lived in a house in so long. Now I have to take care of one! I feel old, even though many people my age already have kids much less a house.

As for today, I went to get the electric permit and found out that all I had to do was forward them our inspection report instead of sitting around in the empty house waiting for their inspector. So did I go home like a responsible person and send the email? Heck, no, I went shopping! I got so much stuff for the house and had a blast. I got a bunch of stuff that I wasn't exactly planning to get, but I don't care because I saved a bunch of money on the planned expenses. And I only got practical stuff, too. Seriously, I got a ladder and a garage storage unit and a flashlight and smoke alarms. I even got plug covers but that was the TTC in me. I know they are also required if we adopt so I figured, why not get them now? If buying CO detectors and plug covers keep me from buying a whole nursery full of stuff then it's all good!

I also found out that the title company is pretty-much ready for us (good thing since they're running out of time) and we should find out the final amount we owe very soon. Maybe even today, but probably tomorrow.

On a dumpy and unrelated note, I now have to take antibiotics. That means no BD for me since I'm convinced that I'll get a yeast infection even though I made sure the doc gave me diflucan, too. I don't think I'll O anytime soon, though. I'm on CD 60+ and my temps have been zig-zagging for over a week now. My CM is almost non-existent except for the random EWCM that promptly goes away. But, if I miss it this time, it's just as well. The O will be weak if it happens at all, and I don't want to deal with an obsessive 2WW right now. I'm torn since I really shouldn't miss it and I might not get a yeast infection. I only O rarely. But I'll just have to see how I feel.

I'm also obsessing more and more about getting a dog. I really think that I'm getting a taste of the adoption process. Don't think I'm crazy since I know a dog and a human are way different. But I'm trying to decide between going to the SPCA and buying a Cavalier through a breeder. The breeder will cost way more than just going to the pound. However, I've been watching the photolistings at the pound and, everytime the one I got attached to is taken off the listing, I get so sad. Now, when I see a dog I like there, I just want to run down and adopt him. However, I need to wait another month before I can reasonably care for a dog. The wise thing would be to just stop looking at the photolistings until we're ready, but I just can't stop myself. If I went with the breeder, yes, I'm paying more, but I know exactly which dog I get now. I just have to wait to bring him home. And I have a good idea about the characteristics of the dog, and I've carefully researched that breed and feel most comfortable about what to expect. Plus, now that I found out the apartment reletting fee is less than I expected, I know we can afford the dog from the breeder.

So what do I do? Take my chances at the SPCA and pay less or spend the money for the puppy I want? My DH asked me, if money was no object, what would I do, and the answer was easy--the Cavalier. But I was taught to be responsible, too. But yet, this dog would be a family member, and do you really base that decision on money? We'll have this dog for ten years at least (all things considered) so it will be worth it if we love the dog we get. On the other hand, we will love whatever dog we get as long as we can train it and care for it. Sigh. I emailed the breeder some tough questions about health screening, shots, the price, and more. Maybe she won't even email me back and this will be easy. If she does answer my questions then I'll probably go with the Cavalier.

All I know is, if choosing how to adopt a dog is hard...how much worse will it be to adopt a person???

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

Here is a picture of the dog I want:

See how this is a hard decision? How cute!!!

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

The breeder emailed me back and it turns out that she's awesome! She loved my questions and she really cares for the puppies and their parents. Whoo Hoo! I may get to meet my furbaby as early as tomorrow!

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

Our furbaby Toby:

DH and I had so much fun shopping for him today. We were good about getting the lowest-priced crate and carrier and the other big stuff, but we totally are spoiling him with toys. We went totally overboard.

I can't wait to bring him to our new house and take care of him. This is the first creature I've ever cared for myself and been responsible for. Of course DH will help but I'll be spending more time with him. I know that the novelty will wear off eventually, but for now this excitement is taking the edge off of my TTC and adoption angst and the stress over the home buying. And I have so much to learn! Neither DH or I were raised with dogs so we are newbies at the whole thing. But the breeder said we could call her with questions and our friends have dogs, too, so we've got resources.

I really do think that this experience is just a hint of what the adoption experience will be like if that's God's plan for us. The beginnings of desire which started many months ago. Then the long talks with DH and discussing why and why not. Finally budgeting for it and figuring out when. Months later, realizing that now is actually a good time to move forward. Getting stuck with too many options and going back and forth between two different ways while researching both thoroughly. Finally getting that final piece of info that helps us make up our minds for sure. Getting photos and falling in love. Meeting them and wanting to take them home immediately but knowing you have to wait. Shopping and planning and wondering how life will change and how to care for this new dependent being.

It was a roller-coaster and this is just a dog. How much more will it be for adopting a little person? I'm sure it will all be worth it, though, when we bring them home. Just like now, after meeting Toby, the last several months just melt away and I don't regret anything. From what I've read on the adoption board and what I've heard from moms who have given birth it's like that but even more. So I have to trust that, if we follow God's plan, there are kids that God will lead to us. He will bless us with all the resources we need to care for them. All of the obsessing and waiting and worrying and shopping and questioning will be worth it and more.

As for my TTC plans, I'm starting to think more and more about the one-year-mark that comes up in June. I know that I'll be stressed through March since we'll have a new house and the dog. I'm praying, though, that April and May aren't too bad and that I can have at least one O sometime between now and June. Please, God, a healthy O. Even if I don't conceive I want the hope that can only come from a healthy O. With a good, strong LP. I've only O'd twice in 8 months of TTC. I want at least one more chance, a real chance, before our 1-year anniversary. Please?

June will be out because I'll be out of town for three weeks. After that, if no pg, I plan to put off TTC for awhile and get a job. We won't prevent but I don't want to TTC with a new job. By Jan, though, I may see about trying clomid again. Maybe. I hated it, and it would cost half a year's savings to do three months of it, and it's so stressful, but I want to try. If that doesn't work then I may hit the two-year mark with no pg as well. By the three-year-mark it will be time to do the homestudy! Geez, look at me, planning three years in advance. I'm sure God's laughing.

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161


Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

Ugh, a lot has changed since the last entry. This will be short, though, since I'm exhausted.

On Monday, the closing went OK. There was a lot of drama leading up to it, but ultimately the paperwork got done and the check got passed along.

On Wednesday, DH got fired.

While this is terrifying and I haven't quite processed it yet, the good news is that DH is available to help around the house all day. I'm such a slave driver but we've gotten so much work done. I might as well get assigned parking at the hardware store I'm there so much. I'm learning a lot about things like putting in new doorknobs and other things but I still need DH to do most of it. So it's good he's around to help. Every time I think we're almost done we discover something else that really needs attending to. It's very expensive and now we don't know where the money is going to come from. Does that stop me from shopping: uh, no. Thank goodness we do have money in savings still. It won't last for long.

More good news is that DH is having an open mind as far as job postings. He's learned so much about who he is and what kind of job he's good at. And he's jumping right in as far as calling people and sending out resumes to people who want to help him. He knows so many people. And we've been through this before when we were engaged so it's not a total shock like last time. He has a plan and we hope and pray this won't last too long.

Bye, bye future clomid treatment (not like I was really wanting to do it but I miss the option and the hope it brings knowing I'll O). Bye, bye savings. Bye, bye free time once I go back to work myself. OK that sounds really negative but this is a journal and it's better to get that out here. I need to be positive with DH since his confidence is shaken. Although I must say he is handling this much better than I handled it when I left my job after a really bad meeting with my principal. I still haven't gotten my confidence back.

I had things all budgeted out and now I have to start all over. Maybe DH will get a raise? That would be awesome. If not, well, we'll just have to work with what we have. Sigh.

For now, I have a plan for the weekend at the house. I'm psyched that we got so much done today and I think tomorrow will be really productive, too. We'll take a break Sunday and I'll finish things up Monday and Tuesday. I'm grateful for the hard physical labor to keep me busy and help me sleep. At the same time I'll be glad when it's over and we're settled in. I don't like the uncertainty of my schedule and driving all over. It leaves me so fatigued.

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

I am on the verge of tears and it's so hard because I have to be strong and confident. The thing is, I'm angry at DH for getting fired even though it's not entirely his fault. He hadn't gotten any negative feedback for months before he was fired. If he doesn't get negative feedback then he has no reason to change, and therefore he just keeps doing the same thing that the boss (secretly) doesn't want him to do. How unfair is that? But now he's fired, and this is the forth job he's had in two years, two of which ended with him being fired.

This is bringing up so much crap from my childhood. My mom lived in fear that my dad couldn't provide so she got a low-paying job just so they'd have a stable source of income. She wasn't happy and was afraid of debt. Meanwhile my dad had some different jobs and spent a lot of time and money on his hobby. To be fair, my dad is now paid to do his hobby full-time, and loves it. His dreams came true and his hard work paid off. However, they still got divorced and my mom is more peaceful. She's married to a guy that seems more stable financially.

Have I gotten myself into a similar situation? Is my husband unable to provide a stable life for us? This keeps happening to him! I don't want to be disappointed in my husband! He has so many great ideas. He, like my dad, is a big idea person, full of life and fun. I fell in love with that. But will I need to spend my time in a crap job just to make sure the bills get paid and we have insurance? Will I grow resentful with him?

What a couple we make. I'm unable to reproduce and he's unable to keep a job for long. I'm so upset. I just want to cry but I don't want my husband to see me upset (even though he would understand). I don't have time anyway since we still have soooo much work to do at the house and I want to get it done today, and soon. I shouldn't even be on the computer but I had to vent. If I don't vent here then I'll scream and throw a fit with DH and that's no good. I need to be supportive.

Growing bitter is my biggest fear, and I feel on the verge of it. I want to be proud of who my husband is. I can't have this double standard. I have to accept all of him. On a good note, he has agreed to broaden his job search. He has been in cube jobs, doing a job that is better suited to introverts who quietly and quickly get the job done. That is the opposite of who he is. I would love it and thrive but not him. He's now going to interview for sales positions which would be perfect for him. It's problem solving, still technical but will involved all of his people skills. His fun-loving personality combined with his slow diligence and thorough approach will make him easy to trust as he helps the clients solve their problems. And he knows so many people that getting leads would be easy for him. Training and consulting would also be ideal, although I guess sales involves all that and more.

So I pray, God, that you will lead my husband to a job that is truly suited to him. Please, God, give DH the job you made him for, a job in which he will thrive and serve his company well for many years while providing for his family. Also, God, please help me to find a job I love as well. Whether it is SAHM or a career (or both!) please give me my confidence back that I lost after the last job ended so badly. Please lead me to a job where I, too, will thrive and serve my company/family well. Please help us honestly discern where we belong and how best to be a family.

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

Well, my angst on Saturday turned out to be partly my fighting off being sick. I was really depressed all day Sunday and didn't want anyone around me or DH touching me. I thought it was because of him getting fired. However, Sunday night, I started to have a really bad sore throat. The next morning I woke up feeling horrible and went to see the doctor and, like I figured, she said it was the flu. Last night was horrible. I had a fever of 102, which would be like 103 to most people since my temps are naturally low. I was laying in bed, nauseous, praying for sleep and to not throw up. Both those prayers were answered, and, this morning, I felt better. Slept 13 hours, too!

Today I'm useless, though. I can't even walk across our apartment without feeling weak. DH is amazing, though. He's so busy now that I can only watch and ask him to do stuff. He got both our cars loaded up and did some work for the job-hunt, too. He's going to work on stuff at the house today and the rest of the week. I tried to do some simple things there yesterday and it just made me very weak so I had to stop. I hate being useless but I love how it makes me appreciate DH so much more. I need him so much right now. He is providing for me in the way that God needs him to right now. I mean, I'm almost glad about the job loss right now because there is no way we could do this if he was working full-time right now. Not even if I didn't have the flu!

We had another issue that we may have figured out a solution to. DH didn't tell me until late Saturday, but the #@$#@ company canceled our insurance that same day he was fired. How evil! I mean, what if we had procedures scheduled that we needed or something? I heard that most companies let it go for two more weeks along with the severance. Of course, finding that out added to my stress, which weakened my immune system, which led to my getting the flu, which led to me going to the doctor :roll: But the good news is that, when I told the doctor that I didn't have insurance, she gave me all of the medicine I needed as free samples. Thank you God! Tamiflu is very expensive and apparently hard to find anyway. And the doctor visit itself didn't cost that much, either. We could do COBRA but it would cost $830 per month. What a rip-off. Our savings will be gone in two months anyway, and there is no way we could afford that on top of our mortgage and bills. But, as long as we don't have an emergency, and as long as we don't get diagnosed with any long-term issue, we'll be OK. And, if DH gets a job and the insurance doesn't kick in for awhile, we'll get the COBRA coverage in the meantime. But the idea of having it for a long time is just not possible. OK so the solution I mentioned is nothing more than not having insurance. Not much help but the best I can think of with a feverish brain.

I can't wait until the move is over. I've got it planned out but the next week is going to be really busy and uncertain. By Saturday we'll be sleeping and showering and cooking at the house. On a good note, all of the neighbors so far seem really nice. They look out for each other and talk. Most of them have lived there for many years. There are some retirees next door that are home during the day so, when DH goes back to work, if I get scared then I have some people to get help from. I'm glad that the neighborhood is diverse, too. Several times I've seen white kids and black kids playing basketball together. Whether we adopt from the foster-care system, or conceive, or both, I want my children to have a diverse group of friends and good role models of their race. While that will take work on our part as parents the potential is there in our neighborhood. DH is really friendly and he's rubbed off on me so that I actually got up the guts to introduce myself to two neighbors myself. If the neighbors think we are nice and friendly then hopefully we'll have a good relationship with them. So far, so good Biggrin

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

We got moved in yesterday and we've already got my closet and the living room largely taken care of. Last night felt like we were sleeping in a (messy) hotel room, and it was amazing spending our first night ever in our marriage in a room that didn't have a family on the other side of the wall. Too bad for AF and the flu Wink Seriously, though, I'm glad that AF arrived, well, for the anno bleeding. After a 70+ day cycle I was so happy for it to end--and without drugs! I can't take prometrium anymore so I was psyched I didn't need it. It feels like a good sign, of change, an old phase ending, and new beginnings. In the last few years I've been happy when AF arrives. So weird, I know. When TTC you should be sad for AF but I always get this feeling of renewal (and, yeah, endorphins). It's a fresh start. That's probably because my cycles are so long and unpredictable. The only time I know for sure what is going on is during AF!

As for this cycle, I'm still not sure if we're going to TTC or prevent (which probably means we'll just let it happen). I will probably be sad then quickly relieved when AF comes again. I want to get pg but I know that it happening when neither DH nor I have a job or insurance isn't too smart. That said, not getting pg when I'm actually trying makes me feel like going through all the work to prevent would too ironic to bother. And what if this was, though the intersection of fate and biology, my cycle after trying for 8 months? I was almost disappointed when we found my thermometer, and I'm tempted to just not bother except that I should use the progesterone cream and the only way to do that is to temp. I still may not bother and really just let it happen. This is the first cycle in which I will be happy either way so I should just enjoy the freedom and go with it. I'm sure a time will come when I'll be trying to control things hard-core later. And it will be good to have an unmedicated cycle, too. If I have don't have signs of low progesterone then maybe I don't even need the progesterone cream until I get pg.

I should just stop trying to type--the Oscars are on and I can't concentrate. Even though the movies were mostly lame this year the show is better then usual.

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

The house is coming along better now. Our living room is much less messy, and the dining room is done. We're almost done with the kitchen. DH got all the furniture assembled, and I got everything ready for the dog (like getting the cage assembled). I can't wait to bring Toby home! It seems more real seeing his stuff out.

Last night I finally got a good night's sleep. Yay for Nyquil! Knocked me out. I had been up for over four hours coughing away. DH only woke up once, and only briefly. How did he sleep through my coughing? I won't be able to leave him alone with baby at night since he obviously will never wake up to crying, either. That's a long way away, though, if we even have a baby.

My dad is coming tonight to bring us his old lawn equipment. I'm excited to show off our house to my family. This house is slowly starting to feel like home. I turned in the key to the old apartment today so I never have to go back there. We found out that our old next-door neighbor got held up by gunpoint at the apartment so we didn't leave too soon. How scary! I used to walk around the complex by myself, which was stupid. I do feel much safer at the house, though. It's nice not only knowing your neighbors but knowing they have been there for years and aren't likely to leave soon. I like our fenced-in yard and getting to choose all of our window coverings and other random stuff, like lights and doorknobs. All of that personalization made it feel more like ours instead of the generic apartment housing I've been in for years.

DH was gone all day and he left again to do some shopping. It's been nice having the place to myself! I love him but I need my space, too. I love the quiet of being alone with my thoughts for hours at a time. He is such an extrovert and needs attention. I just don't want to give it to him during the day. This will be an issue when we have kids for sure, so I better learn to cope with it.

I should go. I need to unpack the junk in our guest room so my dad has somewhere to sleep.

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

I had been wondering if I should go back to work immediately, but I decided to take my trip to see family like I had originally planned. The trip isn't until June, and I'll be there for quite awhile, so there is no point in getting a job now just to have to quit in June. I can look, but any job has to be flexible enough to let me have that much time off so soon. Really, though, with the new puppy comes responsibility, and I hate to leave it home alone all day or even for several hours each day. I mean, if we get a puppy, we should take care of it the way we intended. Puppies aren't meant to be home alone all day. We should have gotten an older dog if that was our intention. We'll have to when I go out of town (please, God, let DH be hired by then) but he'll be older by then. Although the most promising job lead would have DH home during the day since it's a telecommuting type of job. So Toby wouldn't be alone after all. He wouldn't get much attention, but he'd get fed and cleaned up after. I really hope DH gets that job. It would be a great position for him.

So I'm going to be taking a year off like I originally intended. I left my teaching job in June and I'll start job-hunting again in July. I'm glad. It gives me several months to take care of the house and enjoy my last few months of freedom and the peace and quiet of being home alone
(at least I hope I'll be home alone and DH is working by then). I'll be looking for job leads and trying to discern what I want to do. Of course, if I get pg in that time, then I'll probably not bother looking for a job. I'll have a baby to get ready for! I really hope that happens.

I realized the other day that, by not charting, if I get pg I won't know for quite awhile. Being "late" is a 90-day cycle, so I'm sure I'd have obvious symptoms before I even thought to test. Nausea is normal for me, but throwing up isn't. Heartburn isn't normal, but sore bbs are. I'm already bloated from the prometrium--I've looked a couple months pg for years now Sad But this will all work in my advantage if I do get pg in the next few months. I don't want to tell anyone until DH gets a job. The family, instead of being excited for us, will feel sorry for us and worry. That is NOT how I want my baby to come into the world. I want them to be positive and excited and happy. So I think that, even if I have symptoms, that I won't test until it's obvious to even DH and MIL that I'm pg. And I don't have to tell anyone besides DH and I may be able to convince him to be quiet about it for awhile, although I doubt it. But his excitement will be contagious, and I'll just have to tell people to be happy for us.

I'm actually really glad to have the surprise element if I get pg. I missed that possibility when I was charting. I always wanted that surprise. I didn't get the surprise wedding proposal so maybe I will get the surprise BFP! Plus, I really want to get pg before our one-year anniversary/one year of trying. Even with the fear of DH being unemployed. He'll get a job, and we'll be fine. I have to have faith. If I'm not pg by the time I start looking for work I'll be doubly sad--sad that I have to work and sad that I'm not pg since that means that something is really wrong. I don't want to work to get pg. But I know that I may have to. I had been thinking about going on clomid next spring, but now I don't know when we'll be able to afford it. I'll need to save up for three months before we start the clomid to be able to afford three months of treatment. Even if we can afford it sooner, I don't want to go on it before January since it's hard to get doctor appointments for u/s during November and December. Their holiday schedules are more important than our fertility to them. But I hope I'm pg before January!

The nursery already looks really good. It's all in blue by default--all of the left-over stuff is blue since I like that color so much. If it's a girl then no big deal. I'll just get new curtains and a new light shade for the lamp. It would be neat to have two matching sets: one for girls and one for boys. I have a pretty butterfly hanging decoration that a friend made for me, and some other pretty things that would be good for either gender, too, like some white plaster angels and a pretty ivory box. I want the room, except for a few details, to be gender-neutral so it's not too expensive to change for the next baby (should that happen). I have a crate with some kid stuff in there, like stuffed animals and some baby stuff from Pottery Barn kids that we got with a wedding gift card. All we'll need for the nursery when I get pg (if I get pg) is a crib and changing table plus the random baby stuff like diaper genie and so on. I also have a rocking chair that my mom rocked me in and a pretty little side table with an antique blue lamp. I really feel like that room holds my dreams right now. I want to close the door and just let them incubate. How weird am I?

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

DH and I went back and forth on just letting it happen last night, and we ended up decided to just not worry about it. I have only O'd twice in nine months of marriage, and one of those was on clomid. I'm on a very long period now, over ten days, and most of the time the cycle following a three-month cycle isn't all that fertile anyway. If I was regular we would try to avoid, but trying to avoid would be so difficult for me. I can have fertile CM for weeks on end and nothing happen, which would mean all that abstinence for what turns out to be nothing. Plus, we need all the comfort we can get now, with the stress we're under and we don't have much self-control. I told DH that I don't want to go to all that trouble to avoid just to cave when I actually O and all that charting work be for nothing. What I'll probably do is just be aware on my own as far as the CM goes (after charting so long it's impossible not to know) and just not BD on those days and soon afterwards.

I was moping last night, and realized two things. I have to trust in God alone and I take too much for granted. Every married person comes to the point where they realize that their spouse can't provide for all their needs. They then either take control and make themselves and their family miserable or they turn it over to God and trust in Him. The fact is, yes, I'm disappointed that DH lost his job. I can blame him and rush into a job of my own. Or I can trust that God will use DH and others to provide for us and relax at least a little. I need to trust DH but trust IN God.

As for gratitude, here are some of the things I take for granted:

Being married. I mean, how long did I want to fall in love? And now I don't even appreciate it sometimes.

Having a house. There are millions of homeless people, and millions more who are in horrible apartments or crumbling houses. Yes, it's very scary. I'm scared we'll lose it and our credit will be ruined and we won't find a place that will rent to us. This is technically possible but not something I need to worry about for a long time. I need to appreciate our house even though I'm still adjusting to the commitment and responsibility.

Our dog. We still haven't brought him home but it's something to look forward to.

Very important: our family. We have it good. We have loved ones who we get along with, have fun with, and who would do anything to make sure we are OK. So many people don't have that.

Our friends. We have a wonderful fellowship with people who would do anything they could to help us when we need it. They are so supportive.

Our parish. We are so blessed with a great pastor and active ministries, not to mention dynamic worship and the freedom in this country to worship as we see fit.

We aren't broke. We're going to be OK, even with no income and a mortgage and other bills. DH was smart enough to make sure we're OK for a little while.

So I could feel sorry for myself and mope, or I could remember that God is good and blessed are the poor. And we aren't poor compared to the majority of the world. So I need to get over myself and support DH whoever he is meant to be. We may never match our friends and family in the size of our house or the opportunities they can give their kids. But we are blessed in the ways God wants for us now. I have to trust that. I have to let DH work out his career on his own. I can't be down on him even if I disagree at times where he wants to go at work. He has to figure that out on his own.

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

A woman on the forum, who I have been following in a sense from the beginning of my time here, just got her BFP. She had so many problems, and it finally happened for her. The reason I bring it up is that, in the back of my mind, for some unknown reason, I always felt like, when she gets her's it will be time for me to get mine. I have no clue why. Maybe because I felt like we had stuff in common (I can't even say what) and because she seemed like such a nice, level-headed woman, and because her health situation fertility-wise seemed worse-off than mine. Kind of a "if she can get pg than I can get pg" thing--which is ridiculous because God alone determines who gets pg when. Healthy women can take what seems like forever and women with lots of problems can get pg the first time they try, or even on bcp. Anyway, so it kind of woke me up in a way, that she got pg. I'm glad for her, but it makes me wonder what I really want for myself. Even though, at first, I felt like it was my turn, I wasn't as excited as I should be. I guess I'm preoccupied right now.

I had a great visit with my cousin. We have so much in common! I learned about cloth diapers and I decided that is what we're going to do. Diapers are gross and expensive no matter what, but at least we will save money in the long run and it is much better for the environment. I'm not an environmentalist, but those disposable diapers are so bulky that it would make me feel guilty each time I put one on the baby.

In addition to some practical stuff about babies, I learned a lot by watching her discipline her child. At first, when she told me she spanked her child often, I had a bad picture in my mind. I know that I had some anger management issues (that have been long resolved now) when I first started teaching. I never felt like hitting a child, nor did I ever come close, but I yelled and made a fool of myself. I also knew that, if I spanked a child while angry, it would be tempting to hit too hard. Therefore I had decided that I would never spank so I never opened the door to going too far. However, she was so consistent. She didn't wait to get angry before she disciplined her baby. And her "spankings" weren't even painful. It was more the tone of voice (controlled yet unhappy, stern) and the knowledge that she was unhappy that stopped her child. Basically she was training her child and he, only 14 months, learned quickly. I hope that I can be that consistent with my children someday. He is a happy baby and she is a happy mom. Dad is peaceful as well.

I also learned about different kinds of homemade cleansers that I'm going to start using when we use up what we have. My cousin is as close to a hippy as you can get without crossing the line. She choses the practical stuff that saves money and is effective. I learned that peppermint oil is an ant deterrent if we have ant problems, which is quite likely when we put out the dog food and water. On a related note, we changed most of the light bulbs today to energy-efficient ones, and the electrician is coming tonight to install the rest of the light fixtures.

That house is really coming along. The furniture is all put together and placed and the to-do list is almost finished. There are some things I want to buy for the house but nothing that can't wait until DH gets a job (or I get a job). We have everything for the dog out and ready, and the baby gates are up. The plumber is coming soon to fix the leaks with the fixtures that we have purchased. Unfortunately we don't have much money left to pay them so we're going to be over on the repair budget. I just hope we can get by until the severance check comes.

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

I'm really tired but that is good considering it is late evening and I got up early. We brought the dog home and it's been quite an event so far. The dog had fleas. So gross! I hated not even being able to hold him because it was so disgusting. However, we did a lot to take care of the problem. We "bombed" the house with a fogger, sprayed the yard with an insecticide, and gave him a bath in a gentle dish soap to kill the fleas. Then I combed him with a flea comb and we left while the fogger did its thing. We took Toby to a friend's house and we all had a relaxing afternoon. I called the vet and they gave me a pill for today that killed the fleas on him, and we're going to get him on a flea treatment at his vet appointment Monday.

It was so nice once we got him cleaned up. He is such a sweet dog. Having a puppy when I've never had a dog before is surprisingly overwhelming. I keep making what I know are mistakes, like rearranging his furniture and changing my mind as to where I want him to go to the bathroom. We decided, though, to take him outside, and DH is currently waiting for him to go outside. We also got the furniture the way we want it. I figure the past 24 hours are a bust since he is overwhelmed as it is. I can't imagine any creature learning anything while itching with fleas, changing homes, and then we added the trauma of baths and taking him to not just one other house but the in-laws, too. It's amazing how that dog just stays so sweet and even-tempered. I've already learned so much, like how if he's whining while we eat I can just ignore him and he'll stop. I've learned how to deal with pests, and how to get him down. DH and I are in agreement that we don't want him on the furniture unless he's in one of our laps. We also plan to keep him in his crate all day until he's housebroken. Yesterday and today were crazy but we'll get him on a schedule starting tomorrow. Part of it is that I don't know his limits, like how much he will eat, how often he is hungry, and how often and when he needs to go to the bathroom. I know he doesn't like baths, but that I can bathe him by myself.

One really cool thing was that he settled down considerably regarding traveling in his kennel. The first trip yesterday he threw up and freaked out. He did the same thing when we went to our friend's house. However, on the way home from there he laid down and was calm after just a few minutes of whining--and no throwing up. He immediately calmed down for the next two car rides. He's learning that the kennel does not mean bad things all the time. He had a great time at my friend's house, and he got some positive attention at the in-laws. During our dinner he whined a little at first but soon settled down to sleep in his kennel once he realized that we were ignoring him. My in-laws really got a kick out of meeting him and he was good once he settled down. MIL loves her grand-furbaby already!

I'm a little nervous about leaving him alone for awhile tomorrow but hopefully it will be OK. We'll have to leave him alone with a pad to pee on.

As for the house, it's coming along so well. The plumber is done and we have no leaks for now. It didn't even cost as much as I expected, especially since we're going to return all the fixtures we bought for him to install. He said that it would be best to just fix the ones we have rather then risk taking them off. We'll get back almost half of what we paid him when we return all that stuff. The best part is that I think we've bought all the stuff we absolutely need for the house that I know of. I have a growing list of all the stuff I want to get soon, but it's all stuff that can wait until we have income again. For now, though, the furniture is in place, the light fixtures are all attached and working, and the plumbing is in working order. We have a home! Once we get the puppy trained we'll be all set. Whew, I'm tired! What a day! I'm sure bringing baby home is even more overwhelming, and you have to add the physical stress of going into labor! At least both puppies and babies sleep a lot. Toby slept most of the day and I found myself relax considerably each time he settled down.

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

Toby had an accident on the carpet today, but at least it was close to his entryway. On the up side, though, he's getting much better about going outside. We have to learn how to train him to tell us he needs to go, but at least he's getting more comfortable in our yard. We also decided to not leave the house for a trip today after all. I didn't really want to go since I'm so tired and not in the mood to travel yet again, and we didn't want to have to start at square one with the house-breaking routine. We're going to a friend's place but they said we can bring him with us which will hopefully be fun. We'll have to keep him either out in their yard or in the kennel but they have a dog, too, so it's cool. They were so sweet to invite us to bring him without us asking. They said they knew they liked to bring their dog with them a lot when theirs was a puppy so they understood. That concept is new to me. I grew up with cats and you don't just bring your cat with you. But I really enjoy bringing Toby along. People seem so happy around him.

It was fun playing with him this morning. We took lots of pics of the house and the dog to share with family. He was so active! We left him out too long, though, since it was after playing that he peed on the carpet. I'm going to work on letting him play in the house for a shorter time so that he'll have to let me know he needs out. He's good about being quiet in his crate unless we're eating, and even then he gets quiet fairly quickly. That's good because right now his whine is the only indication he needs anything. This animal doesn't bark at all. Maybe that's normal for puppies? It's great, just surprising. He does, however, do this weird howl/growl/whine thing. Sounds like he's constipated Lol Another reason to keep him in the crate is because we have to watch him constantly. He moves fast and is mouthing a lot. I'm afraid he's going to chew wires or randomly mess since it's hard to know what is the "I need to go out" pacing and what is just playing and exploring our house. I'm glad, though, that it's very easy to redirect him with his toys.

I'm worried about him scratching himself a lot, and I thought yesterday that it meant he still had fleas. However, the book we got says it's likely just the flea saliva in his skin that is making him itch. I put a spray on him that is supposed to reduce the itch and it seems to help a little. He also has too much gunk in his eyes. I'm sure that the vet can help with both of those issues and I don't think that either of them are serious.

Here is the schedule for now (will be changed frequently until we figure out what the heck we're doing):
let it out asap in the morning. Thank goodness he was able to hold it all night with no accidents.
Train it/review training after it goes to the bathroom for maybe 10 minutes if the weather is decent.
Feed it and crate it.
Let it outside a couple hours later or when it whines. Let it play for a little bit, then take it outside just in case.
Crate it for lunch.
Take it out, then brush it/play/train/walk. Take out just in case, crate again for dinner.
Feed it again at around 6 or so, take it out.
Crate it, take it out before we go to bed.

I have to admit that, as long as this is so new to us, I'm glad we're both home and able to concentrate on training him and getting us all settled. I can't imagine doing this on my own or even more with having a full-time job outside the home. So DH's getting fired was good timing if there was such a thing.

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

I am so frustrated with the dog, but training any creature takes a lot of patience. I just keep remembering that training a child will be so much harder so I need to be strong. He keeps whining. The breeder let it run wild around the house. We are crate training it, and it is whelping and whining and groaning a lot now. Thank goodness we aren't in our apartment and doing this. We ignore it each time it makes those noises, and I'm praising it when it stops. Yesterday it slept a lot, but today it is wide awake. I hope our neighbors don't hear it. I bet they do--this dog is getting loud!

I also have a confession to make. I've been looking up info on our Cavalier and the pictures kept ringing a bell. Then I looked at our breeder's contract that we signed when we paid the deposit and I realized my dumb mistake. It isn't a cavalier at all. It's a cocker spaniel. We paid all that money for a cocker spaniel. I specifically didn't want one because you have to be so careful about the breeders. My mom's friend had one and they had so many problems with it. They have been bred for so long that now many cockers have bad health problems and are hard to train. Well-bred cockers can be great but I was in such a hurry and so stressed out about money that I figured the CKCS breed would be enough to make up for my concerns. I though I was getting a great deal on the kind of dog that I wanted that I could let things slide. I looked up info on cockers and all the book said was that is has to be groomed professionally (which I wanted to avoid for the most part). Nothing about being good with kids (a must), just that they can be hard to train (a definite no).

I know I sound like a snob. But having a dog when you know nothing from experience is overwhelming and I feel cheated. I told the breeder that I wanted a Cavalier and that I knew she bred Cavaliers. I feel like I had gone to a Toyota dealer, bought a Toyota for a great deal, and looked under the hood to see an engine for another car entirely. She should have told me from the first that she breeds cocker spaniels.

Not reading the contract was the biggest dumb thing but there were other things. Not getting a receipt for the cash payment was another, then not visiting their home (well, insisting we be invited and then walking away when we weren't, I mean). We also should have looked at the dog when we put him in the carrier. DH went by himself but I wouldn't have thought of these things even if I had been there. If we had thought about that and seen the fleas we would at least have known.

I feel so incredibly dumb. If I had read that contract completely I would not have continued with the adoption. I wanted to do my homework and choose carefully since DH and I don't know much about dogs. And there were so many signs that I should have paid more attention to. When I first saw the pictures of the mom I thought she looked different but the dad seemed to match the breed pictures. This dog is cute now but it may grow up to look more like the mom, who isn't so cute. And I should have been more picky about visiting the home where the dogs live. I bet I would have picked up on the fleas if I did that! I would have realized they were out of control as well. We should have gone to the pound after all. We'd have the same problems but we wouldn't have paid so much for them. We didn't pay nearly as much as we could have from another breeder, so it could be worse.

On the plus side, the dog was good last night at our friend's house. We kept him either on a lease outside or in the kennel inside (during dinner). He didn't jump on anyone and he was good with their dog. Their dog actually growled at Toby, and Toby backed off and left teh dog alone after that (they rarely take the dog out so the dog isn't used to other dogs and was attacked by a dog when it was younger so it's scared to begin with). Some dogs would growl back so I'm glad that Toby did what he did. And Toby is great with our friend's baby, too. So if we can train him it should be OK. He only chews his toys right now (he's very carefully watched so he never has the chance), and we're learning his body language better. He did mess on our tile dining room, but it didn't stain at all and we just moved it outside to help him associate that with our yard.

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

I have settled down some since my last post. I decided today that, even though Toby isn't the dog I wanted, I'm bound and determined to do the best I can for the dog I have. I prayed and prayed that God would send us the best dog for our family and I have to trust that Toby is that dog. God knows better then us, anyway. And by the best it doesn't mean that we won't have problems. Maybe a problem dog IS the best dog for our family for some mysterious reason that only God knows. But Toby is the dog we have and that's how it's going to go.

The breeder emailed back and explained the flea situation. She said she brought him to a park and he probably got the fleas there. She said she gave him a flea bath and that she doesn't like to treat them because our vet might give them a different treatment. I think she should have treated him (but that would have cost her money :roll: ) and just put a note in the shot record she gave me. I'm still mad but there is no point in dwelling on it.

Back to Toby being good for our family, I have to say that DH and I are barely fighting now. I'm too busy to pick on him for stupid stuff, and we finally have a project that we are both passionate about succeeding at. We aren't competitive because it takes the both of us to train him. We have to work together to not confuse the dog. I'm becoming less selfish, if only just a little. So Toby is the best dog for us.

He is also driving me a little less crazy today. He's already whining for shorter amounts of time and slowly accepting his crate. I'm also trying to give him more attention while he's in the crate and letting him loose a little longer at a time. I also made meal-time easier for us both by putting his food in his crate. Now I don't have to worry about him messing on the tile floor in-between bites. I would pull on his leash to keep him near his food bowl and I realized that probably made it hard for him to eat. I just have to remember to take him out about 30 minutes afterwards! Also, there have been no accidents yet today. I need to be grateful for the small (and not-so-small) things. Best of all, he was so good at the vet's office. He is so gentle. No barking or biting. Just a yelp when he got his shot, no surprise. I do need to work on him trying to nip me, though. That has got to stop right away. I mostly deal with it by redirecting him with a toy, but a book I read recommended closing his mouth just long enough for it to be uncomfortable for him and saying No. Hopefully we can end that before it gets to be a problem!

Gotta go, I'm taking Toby to the pet store to socialize him and pick up yet more supplies. Whew, he is expensive.

ETA: I've been so busy with the dog that I haven't been paying as much attention to my body, but I'm going to have to go to the doctor tomorrow. I had hoped to not have to go to the gyn for awhile since I'm not TTC, but I'm on day 18 of AF and it's not lightening up. It's light flow, but bright red and brown. It's so annoying wearing pads for that many days. I hope it's just my uterus shedding the large amount of build-up over a three-month anno cycle. The weird part is that my AF was soo heavy after my clomid cycle so there shouldn't be so much bleeding. However, it's been light this whole time. The last time I had anno bleeding it was really heavy since it had been so long since I'd had a period. In addition, the last time I had a long AF I had a healthier cycle afterwards. So maybe this is a good thing. I just hope it ends soon! I just couldn't handle yet another problem with my reproductive system. Even if we could afford it, I'm overwhelmed enough as it is. Heck, even if I do have a problem, unless it's dangerous I'm not going to deal with it now. But I hope they don't find anything.

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

I went to the doctor and, while the dr spent barely any time with me, I don't think it's too serious. I'm just going to let my body get itself straightened out. She prescribed provera but I just threw it away. All that will do is make me feel miserable and cranky for three weeks and then bring on yet another AF. No thanks! At least I'm not feeling as nauseous now.

It is so weird, but a part of me was still hoping that the bleeding was because I was pg. I mean, am I delusional? The blood was often bright red, and I never had a thermal rise indicative of O. But, despite all that, all it took was a little nausea and my hopes were raised. When the nurse said that my test was negative I got surprisingly depressed. I'm still a little upset. I wish I could put my desire for pg in a box on my bookshelf until I was ready to get pg. I wish TTC didn't have such a strong effect on me. I'm sure God has given me this urge for a reason and I hope He provides if we actually do get pg before DH gets a job.

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

Today is a pretty good day. The weather is beautiful here, and I took Toby for a short walk outside. Having him was always meant to be an excuse for me to go outside, and I have to say I haven't been disappointed. He did pretty well staying with me but we're still working on him coming each and every time he's called. He did, however, do much better about walking next to me on his leash instead of dragging or pulling so much. He seemed to enjoy himself and afterward he let me hold for him in my lap a little longer than usual. I felt better about having him here then I have been.

Another good thing is that he's not whining nearly as much. I realized that giving him attention while he is in his crate is actually counterproductive and now the most I do is look at him and tell him he's being good. I also realized that he doesn't need to go out as much during the day as I thought. So far he's gone more of the times that we've taken him out today then yesterday. Of course yesterday the bad weather freaked him out and he didn't want to go hardly at all. Mostly, though, I don't feel so cooped up with him like I did at first. I feel more comfortable leaving him for longer. I don't worry that he will mess his crate--he's able to hold it longer than all the books I've read say he can, and he won't go in there no matter how much he needs to. He did have an accident today on the carpet but it was one of the easier-to-clean ones and we almost caught him in time. The important thing is that we did catch him right away and he finished outside.

I'm also happy because we aren't going to have to pay taxes. I was getting worried that we would because our financial situation was strange last year. It even seems like we'll get some back even. That's a relief since we need all the help we can get right now.

DH is still job-hunting, and now I'm feeling settled enough here to be comfortable with him being away at an office. Ironically, many of the jobs he's looking into will have him at home in our office, but I'll still need to be more independent and leave him alone to work. I think I'm ready for that now. I feel like I can get more done now as Toby whines less and I know I can leave him for longer, even several hours as long as I take him outside for a bit before I leave. Plus, the house is pretty-much done and I'm starting to get back into my old routine but with the changes brought on by the house. Many of the changes are positive, like me having a patio to sit in while I say the Rosary. I love saying it outside and now I can comfortably as long as it isn't too cold.

Another really cool thing is that I got my library card today. I'm such a kid--I was really happy. I brought home several books although I don't know how many of them I'll actually finish. I'm a picky reader. It was so cool, though, to make that step. I feel like more of a citizen in my suburb now then before. Especially since this town is my DH's hometown, but the library is my thing for the most part. I can't wait to take our kids there to play during hot summer days. I may even try to get a job there if I'm not pg by July. I love libraries.

My AF started actually feeling like AF yesterday. I'm feeling like I'm nesting, and I'm having the normal AF cravings as well as being tired and sleeping very well at night. The lovely endorphins are kicking in and I am a very content woman. Hopefully this is a sign that my 21-day-and-counting AF is going to end soon. It's gotten heavier so I'd guess that it will end in seven days or less. I can only hope!

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

I can't believe I'm posting twice in one day. Good grief. But this is an exciting time in our life so I'm glad to be chronicling it. Someday I'll miss this time when everything is so new and full of hope. OK, maybe miss is a strong word. Nostalgia is probably better. I hope I don't forget the stress that goes with it, but we always do.

Anyway, I've come to a realization with DH's job search. I'm a lot more open minded then I was the first time he lost his job while we were engaged. I had so many demands, like not much traveling, and that he didn't work too much over-time, and so on. I wanted a family man who earned a great salary, got great benefits, and came home before dinner every night and was excited to go to work every morning. One year later, and I told DH that I still wanted him to enjoy his work. However, I told him that if he needed to work 60 hours a week, or if he didn't get great benefits, or if he needed to travel some, it's OK. I told him that I wanted him to really discern this time instead of settling like he did the last time he was job-hunting after the lay-off. I told him to think about whether or not he wanted to be a "suit" or not (great benefits and salary but he wouldn't fit in, not him). I told him to think about how much risk he could handle, and how much uncertainty he could handle and how he would deal with it when they expected him to know something he didn't know yet.

Thing is, as much as I want certainty, there is none in the career world. Not for DH especially, with his industry. I told him that all I really wanted was enough money in the bank to not have to borrow from his parents and the option of delivering a baby (should we be so blessed with a healthy pg) in a hospital if I want instead of at home like I'm probably going to go with. I also want him to make enough money for us to keep this house and pay our bills and not worry when I go to the grocery store as long as I'm being reasonable with our choices. To me, right now, that is luxury. And, you know, not long after I told him that, not only was I rewarded by the look of relief in his eyes but I was also thrilled to receive not just his severance check but his unemployment check in the mail. I think God was telling us that He would provide.

I really do want my DH to figure out (to the best of his ability) where he wants to be. He won't fit in just anywhere. And I may have to give up my dream of being like some of our friends with their big houses and awesome cars. Our kids may very well resent us for not being able to provide what our friends can provide for their kids. But it's too early to worry about that now--we don't even have kids to provide for!

I felt better telling DH that, that I'll accept where he wants to go and how he chooses to get there. I want him to be confident and he couldn't be confident if he thought I needed him to be a certain kind of person and he wasn't. Even if he's not who I thought I wanted or even who I want, God knows best. At least I know where DH is coming from. When I didn't get the job I interviewed for at a big company I was secretly relieved. I wouldn't fit in there either. Neither DH or I are that savvy. We're too nice. We're both hard workers but we don't see the signs of trouble or know what to do about it so we lose our jobs. He's more of an innovator and I'm more of a plodder. He spends more time looking into new ideas than focusing on his assigned task if he's bored. He needs to either find a job where he'll be less bored (and probably not at a big company since there he would be doing the repetitive stuff) or curb that tendency. Me, I like the repetitive stuff, go figure. I just want him to be happy (and, yes, for the bills to get paid).

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

Today is kinda difficult but I'm trying to be positive. A friend of mine just had her baby this morning and I just found out that another friend is pregnant. At least I'm pretty sure she is but it's still speculation at this point. She didn't want to get pregnant for quite awhile from what I understand because of work issues. So part of me wants to feel sorry for myself. I have a now 27-day AF and there are babies everywhere. However, I decided to think about all the good things about God not blessing me with a baby or a pregnancy yet:

    I was able to visit my cousin and get to know her husband and baby.

    I'm able to go visit my other cousin who's expecting and help her out as well as meet her sister's husband and baby.

    I had the time and energy and money to house-hunt and care for our puppy.

    I can totally support DH at this difficult time.

    DH doesn't have the stress of knowing a baby is coming with this job hunt--he has the freedom to look for a job that really suits him w/o the pressure of being a dad.

    I can go to my cousin's wedding in July and have fun and support her on her important day as well as catch up with her siblings and parents who I haven't seen in many years. We wouldn't have the time or money to do that with a baby.

    I can focus on others and be a good friend without talking about my baby all the time.

    I can job-hunt and make some extra money for when we either do have a baby or decide to adopt.

    After supporting lots of other moms I'll hopefully get lots of support when it is finally my turn. Regardless, I'll have lots of women to learn from!

    I've connected with family members who understand my fertility problems, both aunts and cousins, that I may not have connected with otherwise.

    My faith in God has grown because I've been humbled by not getting what I wanted when I wanted and there's not much more I can do about it but wait.

    I'm getting more patient and less desparate.

    I'll appreciate this baby and the pains of pregnancy/adoption way more now then I would had I gotten pregnant right away.

    We can bring our baby home to a house that we had time to fix up.

    DH and I have built a stronger relationship in our time together with just the two of us.

    I've had time to process the wedding and being married and had time to relax between events.

    I've had time to be home alone in peace and quiet (at least I did in the apartment and will at the house as soon as DH gets a job). I've had time to enjoy being young and married. I've also had time to adjust to being home by myself so being a SAHM won't be as much of an adjustment.

    Lots of fun BDing with my new husband before getting a pg belly Wink

    If I get the job I applied for then I'll be able to make some money in a decent job to prepare for baby even if I get pg soon.

    I'm more compassionate and less judgmental.

    I don't have to worry yet about everything that could go wrong. Neither do I have to make all those big decisions like whether or not to have a homebirth.

    If we had gotten pg during my clomid cycle we'd be in big trouble now because of DH losing his job. We'd have to pay all that money every month for Cobra plus all those medical expenses for the prenatal visits.

I'm sure there are plenty of other positives. Yeah, I still feel sorry for myself. But there's a time for everyone. My time will come.

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

I found out for sure that my friend is expecting. I'm happy for her and they're going to have a beautiful baby. I'm glad to be in a group of friends who welcome new life with such abundance.

However, I'm feeling very abandoned by God right now. My period is getting heavier--so heavy today that I had to ask DH to make lunch. I just couldn't stand up that long :-? I feel like God forgot to flip the switch that stops the bleeding. Add to that DH's dwindling lead list and repeated rejections and I feel like we're both kinda forgotten right now. I've heard that, when you feel most abandoned by God, the closer He is. It's like you're standing in thick fog and you really want to find something that is so close you can almost reach out and touch it but it seems miles away. I know that something will cause that fog to lift and I'll be so grateful to God. For right now, though, I just want to scream. I want to be able to build up our savings again. I want to go to the doctor and just get checked out. I don't want to worry about pregnancy being a pre-existing condition (even though I know that's not supposed to happen). I want DH out of the house so I can have my space-although I have to admit I'm getting used to it and it could even be fun years later when we're both retired. I want DH to be confident and moving forward in his career. Things seem so stalled out.

On the plus side, DH didn't mind about making my lunch and has been really sweet about this whole thing. And the dog has been really good yesterday and today. I think he is getting used to the schedule we've put him on. Plus, when he does whine, it doesn't bother me so much. That's in part to learning what sets him off instead of it seeming quite so random and unpredictable. Having a puppy is becoming more of a joy so that's wonderful. The house is good, too. I don't worry about what will go wrong next. I also realized last night while on the phone with an old friend that I'm much more laid-back about clutter here. I was insane at the apartment because on thing on the floor was so obvious. However, here, a little clutter isn't so bad. I can still concentrate because the room as a whole still looks nice. So there are some great things that I can appreciate despite feeling down in general. I feel like this AF and DH's unemployment will never end and we'll lose everything. But I need to trust that things will change, maybe even soon.

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

Today is one of those crappy days. The water heater isn't working, I haven't had lunch or even a shower yet (no hot water), the phone line is broken for the third time in a month, and we had to pay a ton of extra money for our home security system even though we're already paying extra each month for the maintenance plan (total waste of money, BTW). And we're in a two-year contract so there isn't a whole lot we can do since we signed for it already. We wouldn't have had to pay hardly anything extra for the security system if the phone people had done the repairs they should have done months ago. Plus we found out the phone company had lied to us when we signed up for the plan that we were getting the cheapest plan they had. At least I found this out now instead of months from now. We only had to pay the extra amount this once, plus they are reimbursing us for the time without a working phone line. Even more annoying is that there is no way to know how often we're going to be without a phone. They say they're going to do a more permanent fix but we won't know until this happens again. That means that, in the meantime, I have to call to report them which just takes more time and hassle. At least our home monitoring will be extra-secure, but good grief. On top of that we're having trouble with our garage door that we can't afford to fix until DH gets a job. We knew this problem would happen eventually but why now?

DH has a job interview today but he wasn't even very excited about it because it's a technology he doesn't want to work in. For his industry that's a big deal. At least it's good interview practice and he may pick up good questions to ask or something. Still, all in all, this is a crappy day.

Yeah, I'm still on AF. Day 32...

...OK, it's several hours later, at the end of the day. Things actually turned out much better than I expected. I realized that I wasn't trapped with the phone company and that paying for the satellite-type thing for the home-security system wasn't such a bad thing after all. All we have to do, if this keeps up, is to cancel our landline and just use our cell phones instead. The land line costs so much more in the suburbs then it did in the city, and the sound quality is horrible even when it's not busted. We could save money by not even paying for the land line. I figure that, since more and more people are using just a cell phone that, by the time we sell this house, the home-security device will either be standard or it will be a great benefit. We can tell potential buyers that they don't have to have a land line to use the security system, or that, if the land-line is cut (OK, this isn't a movie, but you never know) the system would still work. So the phone issue doesn't have to continue to be a problem. We can cancel it as soon as DH gets a job if they don't fix the problem permanently this next time. The best way to get through to the phone company is to take away their customer!

While I don't think we can get the garage-door taken care of anytime soon I decided I would call around and see if I can get a cheap or free estimate and find a professional company to fix it later. At least this way I don't have to worry about it since, every time I do that, the fear is so much worse than the reality. It's a pretty minor issue now so maybe it won't be so much after all. Or, if it is, at least we'll know and can plan for it once DH gets a job.

As for the water heater, it's getting fixed tomorrow.

Best of all, the job interview actually went really well. They are going to look for a job that DH wants (they're basically consultants). They may not have anything soon and they told DH to keep looking but that, if he finds something, to let them know. They really seem to want to hire him, and DH liked that they specifically said they would meet him where he is instead of trying to make him into someone he's not. This company was nice to DH the last time he was job-hunting but it just didn't work out. I don't want to get my hopes up too high but I would be so happy if this was really it. Insurance coverage starts the first day! How cool would that be! We'll be so down if they don't call back soon or if it turns out to be a bad company after all. But it's so nice to have some hope finally, even if it's just for a day or two.

More good news, if minor: my AF seems to be tapering off just a little. The blood is mostly dark instead bright red, and it's much thinner and I don't even feel like I'm on my period. I've used fewer pads today than I did yesterday and even fewer still then the day before. I really hope and pray that my AF is ending for real. If it gets heavy again though, or if it's still bleeding significantly by Monday then my MIL told me she would take me to a good gyn that she goes to and that she'd pay for it. I really hope it doesn't come to that but I have to be humble enough to accept help since she's getting worried. At least my DH doesn't have to have the burden of that cost on his mind right now. I felt like we should pay for it since we're adults and responsible but she said that she'd do the same for her daughter and I know she's right. I am so blessed to have a generous MIL. And I know my mom would do the same thing. I need to appreciate those women more. I really don't want to go to the doctor, though. I'm afraid of what they'll find, or that they'll push hormones on me. I just want my body to take care of it.

Training yesterday with Toby went pretty well. It's confusing at times but I was making it more complicated like I usually do. We're using clickers which is another thing to remember and annoying but it seems to work. We're focusing on associating the clicker with treats and then doing basic commands that the dog already knows as well as the simple one of getting the dog to make eye-contact with you. We also decided to narrow down the part of the yard that he can use and it's made our trips outside much faster since he doesn't wander all over the yard to find the perfect spot. We're going to use less treats since he barely picked at his food but we want him to get used to them and connect them to good behavior even if he pigs out too much on them now. We're also making the leash tighter anytime we walk with him, even if it's to go outside. He has to walk by our side instead of running ahead like we've been letting him do. If he runs ahead he hurts his own throat but if he walks calmly by us then it's comfortable for us both. I'm getting quite an upper-body workout! I hate to see him strain but I know he has to accept us as master and he will learn. He's already getting better and walking more today (as opposed to trying to run ahead) and I just started doing this last night! He's so smart and, yeah, manipulative, too. We have to stay two steps ahead of him. But I would be bored with a dumb dog.

He hasn't gone in the house in several days and I feel like I can trust him more. He's so cute; when I work on the computer while he's playing he'll occasionally come up to me and, when I pick him up to pet him in my lap, he'll jump down after just a few tummy rubs and get back to playing. He's like a little kid that needs a little love and reassurance before running back outside. I'm learning how to play with him without getting him so riled up. I was also thrilled when he did fetch perfectly tonight when I had treats. Go figure, he'll fetch the ball no matter what but, if I don't have a treat, he'll just gnaw at it instead of dropping it for me. At least I know he can do it perfect and I was able to reward him profusely for doing it right to reinforce it. He'll learn that, when he does it right, he'll get to play more.

Also, he's whining less and less. If he gets in a barking jag we'll spray the air in front of him with anti-chew spray and he calms right down. If he's being inconsistent and whining really loud for attention then I'll pull the sheet over his crate so he can't see us. Either action is a way to calm him down and punish him without anger. It sure beats the muzzle thing which the trainer said could provoke the dog and, sure enough, works inconsistently. After all, I have to be really angry to do that and that anger gets him riled up or scares him, neither of which is good for bonding. Pulling the sheet down is much more effective and not a power struggle. We've been able to watch several movies at night lately without having to pause it for his noisy interruption. And yesterday, when we ate at the in-laws, he barely made a sound despite us eating steak with bacon and him being in the other room but within eye-contact. Talk about torture for a dog!

I'm glad I'm learning things about teaching discipline. I'm learning how to punish calmly when rewards are not a practical alternative, and how to let him make the choice to be comfortable our way or uncomfortable his way when, again, rewards are not practical. I'm learning how to give consistent demands and reward them consistently, and how to praise generously. I'm learning to have high standards and give clear limits even when it seems too strict at first. It's so much easier to learn this now with DH then when we have kids!!! Sometimes it's just draining and sometimes it's fun, a challenge to teach him to behave. DH are finally on the same side and our dog really does seem happier and more peaceful. He knows what to expect and we try not to let him down. This is good for us even when it's hard or confusing.

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

I finally have some good news, or at least the hope of good news. The interview, as it turned out, went so well that they called him this morning and told him they want to hire him! They haven't offered him a contract, though, so it could fall apart in no time. However, if it works, he would likely get a raise and they said that health insurance begins immediately. If he does get a raise then we'll put all the "extra" money (above what we budgeted for at his last job) into savings for the next lay-off.

That sounds negative but I no longer expect a company to be our savior and take care of us. I expect them to do what they say they will but even that doesn't always happen. We are generous with our tithing but we have to take care of ourselves and not expect any job to last long. It's wonderful if it does, but we ultimately have to trust God to provide the employment that we need when we need it. I want to focus on putting money into retirement and building up the savings account within reason as well as basic home repairs. We need to get things sustainable both in our house and in our bank account. Then we can have more fun.

Best of all--AF seems to be on her way out!!! I've still got some spotting but today is the first day I'm not wearing a pad or liner. Yay! Who knew that something most women take for grated would be such a big deal? I have a really good feeling about this cycle and the next one. The last time my AF was really long I went on to have the most normal cycles I've ever had before or since. That was when I was celibate and not charting so I don't know if I O'd then but it's likely. I really hope that this past AF is the last one I have for nine months! I'm not going to chart my temps because, if I do O, I'll obsess big-time during the 2ww. I'll be aware of my CM, though, and make the most of it if it gets good. I'm not going to do anything to improve my CM, either. We'll use pre-seed when we feel like it but not for timing's sake. I want to keep JLIH and be surprised if it does.

I haven't O'd since November, and, if I do, it will be in April. Wow. One good thing about this timing is that there is no way I'll be pg when I interview for the job I want. If I do get pg I can say with total honesty that I wasn't when I interviewed for the job and therefore didn't trick them. It's a big deal to me because I would feel so bad interviewing for a job and then only keep it for less then nine months. I have every intention of being a SAHM when I have children. Yeah, it wouldn't take away the thrill of being pg but I still want to keep this job for longer then nine months if I do get it. So I can say it's a win-win for me. And I haven't even interviewed for it much less gotten it so it's too early to think about it one-way-or-the-other.

If DH gets a job soon, and I get the job, and then I get pg--wow! All of those things are still way up in the air but it's technically possible. I want to be cautiously optimistic.

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

I am seriously wallowing today and so angry and jealous. I'm so afraid that all our hopes will be dashed. Last night my friend who has a 1-year-old told us that she thinks she is pregnant again. It would be wonderful if she was but she talks about motherhood so much now and I know it will get much worse if she is pregnant. Last night DH and I went over to bring dinner to our friends who just had their baby. Once this other friend got there it was all babytalk, all the time. I used to like to hear it since I felt like it was preparing me for my pregnancy. Now, though, I'm fed up with it.

Plus, they both had their baby in a hospital with an epidural and great insurance to cover most of the bill. Part of me wants that and part of me wants a home birth. My cousins have all had home births and had a wonderful experience. My friends here both had great experiences in the hospital. I could go either way but it makes deciding difficult. No matter which way I go I'll get strange looks from someone I care about. My friends here are people I see each week. However, I'm much closer to my cousin. Her and I get each other. I want her at my house for the home birth. I should look at this as a win-win. Support for a hospital birth and support for a home birth. DH doesn't care either way and will support my wishes. I need to do my research when the time comes and do what feels right to me. My cousin will be there either way, I know. She's cool like that:-)

I'm feeling so left out right now. I need to find some new friends. Not get rid of the old friends, of course, as they are kind and good Christians. I've known them for many years and like their company. However, when I first met them, none of them were moms. I wasn't even married yet. We had so much fun and we had lots in common. Those two still have a lot in common. I, however, am more and more out of the loop. Everytime the three of us get together (especially if the other moms are there) they talk about babies exclusively.

And they just don't understand me. They both got pg their first cycle trying. They, and many other of my church friends, seem to think that getting pregnant is something you can do as soon as you try. That is one downside to NFP they way we were taught, the idea that you (and anyone else practicing it) can control when they get pg, or that one mistake in trying to avoid and you'll get pg. Plus, in my group, nearly everyone uses NFP and none of us use contraception. This is great but how many of our more casual acquaintances think that we use contraception and look down on us since we don't have kids yet? Or they, like my friend's mom, probably think we've been avoiding since we promote the idea of NFP to engaged couples.

The mom meant well but it hurt so bad. Every time I went over to see the newborn she told me how great the baby looked in my arms. She knew I have been married awhile and was just trying to encourage me. If she only knew--I need encouragement to get pg like I need a hole in the head! I started trying before her daughter started trying. She, however, got pg the first cycle whereas I am still waiting. Now I avoid their house and the baby because it hurts too much.

If my other friend is pregnant then I may just drop out of the Rosary group. That is so petty of me but it hurts and the last thing I want to hear about is the progress of her pregnancy. I like her but she's not very sensitive. She knows I've been trying and that it hurts to hear about it but she carries on anyway. If we both get pregnant it will be great since I'll always have someone to get advice from. I just don't know. I can't just be her friend when it's convenient for me. That's wrong. But she doesn't hear me, doesn't listen. We have less and less in common as the months go by.

This is truly a case of "it's not her, it's me". We'd get along great if I was pregnant and not so jealous. I shouldn't let a good friend down because of my bad attitude. It's not like I'm going to have less pregnant/mother friends as I get older! I need to learn how to deal with this now because it will only get more difficult. At least they still invite me to hang out with them. Some infertile women are dropped by their friends. And hopefully, if I can't get pregnant, then as their kids get older they'll get their lives back and we'll start to have common ground again. It'll never be like it was years ago but things will level out at least a little more someday. I hope. And maybe in a month or so I'll not have to worry about it anymore!

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

I talked to DH and he saw what I was saying about my friend. I decided that I'll take a long break from going over to see her during the day. That is mommy time anyway and the last thing I need. I'll see her in the evenings when we are with other friends. During the week day, until I'm a mom myself, I want to focus on either getting a job or finding a ministry position.

When I am a mom I need to spend my days either alone or with other moms who I want to learn from. Every mom is different but I can't see myself being like this particular friend as much. Her style works for her but not for me. I can't explain it very well since, who knows, she may read this and be hurt. She isn't a bad mom, just different than me. Plus I've watched her for a year now. I can always call or email her with questions or ask her in the evenings. Also, her daughter is already older and I'm not even pg yet. So I need to focus my time differently during the weekday instead of spending hours at her house.

I'm hoping that by not spending time with the moms during the day I won't have as much trouble with jealousy. Whenever I see them I feel like an intruder and out-of-place. In the evenings it's a little better. I'll also be more aware of groups in which all the women there are moms already. That always is trouble for me right now. There are still some women, married or single, who aren't moms yet. If they are there then I have a chance. If not I at least know what I'm getting into. Not to say that all the moms talk about babies all the time. But some of them do and they tend to dominate the discussions.

I also talked to DH about finding some new friends in addition to the group we have. We don't have a solution yet but we both agree that it's time. We've been friends with this group since we were dating. None of them had kids yet, and just one was pregnant. Several weren't married or even engaged, same as us at the time. All us women were all working outside the home and loved a girls' night out. Things have changed so much! Now the group that shows up for Bible study is so much smaller and the discussions are different. The single people aren't even showing up for events as much, and the parents have to drop out for the most part almost as soon as they have babies.

It's not a bad change, just a sign that DH and I need to branch out. Part of not being parents yet is the availability for more ministry involvement. We could meet other couples who either don't have kids yet or who have found a way to stay involved in activities despite being parents. These are people who will have things to talk about besides their children. I want to be that kind of mom, too. Some of my friends believe that they should be with their children all the time. Maybe I'll be like that, too. And there's nothing wrong with it. But I imagine myself getting out at least sometimes. Not when the baby is a tiny infant but when the child is a little older. I mean, isn't that a huge advantage of having the in-laws close-by? However, if we aren't involved in ministry now how can we expect ourselves to be when we have kids? I've been thinking about what I want to do and haven't found any answers yet. I was interested in a crisis pregnancy center but that would be too difficult. I hope I get this church job and don't have to ask myself this question anymore!

We're having more problems with the alarm system again. It's so annoying! It goes off just fine; it's turning it off that's a problem. Thank goodness they are coming to fix it tomorrow. We've already put a lot of money into this system already. At least, when we go to sell this house, we can say with complete honesty that the system is updated and works. The new owners won't have to deal with any of this. So none of the money is wasted. That is one big advantage to owning a home!

That said, I wish I hadn't agreed to have a monitored alarm in the house insurance agreement. I feel trapped with a system that has, so far, been extremely disappointing. It seems like anything that can go wrong is going wrong. At least the important stuff in the house works! If the alarm system is the only glitch then we're doing just fine. And even as far as that's concerned I bet that, a month from now, it'll work just fine and be a habit that I don't even think about anymore. I think part of it is that I didn't have a monitored alarm growing up. It's pretty foreign to me and seems like yet another piece of technology to deal with. Plus I hate running through my house like a crazy person and dealing with the beeping. Like I said, in a month this will all seem normal to me. And it's not like we signed a lifetime contract.

DH and I just looked at baby furniture and it was fun talking about what kind of parents we want to be and how we'll work it out. I even wanted to start registering for stuff! I can only imagine how that would go over. :lol:I really feel optimistic about this cycle. I notice every little twinge in the ovary region and every tiny amount of CM. I might as well chart since I'm going to be so bummed if this cycle doesn't work out. How many women swear that this is it and then get AF? At least this time I feel truly ready in a new way. The last two times I didn't. I felt scared at the possibility of getting pg. Having a house changes a lot of that, though. We have room for the furniture and the in-laws nearby. I don't feel so much like a newlywed anymore. Further, there isn't anything big going on like before. No one else we're close to is engaged or expecting. The house hunt is over and the puppy is adjusting. At the same time, while I really want it, I can see myself more with a life without being pg right away. I have a vision for our lives without a baby. So I'm a little less desperate-feeling, too. If this isn't it I may bounce back faster and not be so depressed.

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

Things seem to be going better, at least in some ways. The garage door issue turned out to be really minor and it's already been fixed for less money than I expected. The alarm *should* be fixed any day now. They're just going to replace the whole panel and it won't cost us a thing.

On the job front we're still in limbo. Neither DH nor I have heard anything back about our really promising job leads from a week ago. They haven't even called us to come in to interview but they both say they want to. However, while those may or may not work out, we both have interviews coming up with other employers that we feel good about.

DH got information about yet another job opportunity that is really interesting. It's a contract that would have us move clear across the country for just under a year. We would keep our house and rent a small (OK, tiny) apartment there. We would only take stuff with us that we absolutely need, and our cheapest furniture. All of our nice stuff would be left behind. It would be quite an adventure! There are huge risks but the financial rewards would be worth it. One thing about it, though, is that I would pretty-much have to have a homebirth if I got pregnant anytime soon. We'd be on an individual health plan that has no maternity benefits. To have a baby in the nice hospital like the kind my friends used would use up all the savings we would accumulate in the upcoming year whereas mid-wives are usually much less expensive. I would also most-likely qualify for medicaid in case of complications that would require me to go to the hospital during delivery. It would be difficult to leave our friends and family but, at the same time, this seems like the right time for something like this. We've been in DH's hometown our whole relationship. It would be interesting to go somewhere neutral, somewhere that would be ours not his. Our group is in a transitional time as well. I feel like we would miss them more than they would miss us. Going somewhere new for a year could be good for us. We'd see which issues are due to being here and which are just due to us being who we are.

My cycle is strange and I'm thinking it may turn out to be anno after all but I don't know. It's been pretty dry but my libido is similar to O time. I have mild O pain but my temps are at the normal pre-O level. It's been nine days since AF ended. That's still early for me to O. I'm glad I'm temping this time just so I can know if I O. I'm going to be easy-going about it and just chart with FF on the days I remember to temp at around the right time. As soon as I O I'll stop temping. I'm also planning to finally use my progesterone cream to see if it causes bad s/e. I won't see if it keeps my temps up but I will see if I have pre-AF spotting. I'm trying to make sure we BD at least every 3-4 days since I don't have CM yet but I feel like I could O somewhat soon based on all my other symptoms. I'm impatient to O but glad to not be in the 2ww with all its anxiety and heartbreak.

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

I was searching the internet and found another job to apply for. I called and they set me up with an interview for Monday. I have a good feeling about it since the lady who answered the phone was really nice. It would be a low-key receptionist/office help job. I don't know the hours so that is a big question mark, but the job itself seems fine. Not terribly challenging or life-changing, but a way to make some extra money and keep myself busy. I still want the church job more but they never called. I haven't given up hope on that, yet, though, since this past week was a busy one for churches. If I don't hear back from them by next Friday, though, I'll give up.

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

I think that, at least subconsciously, I was expecting things to get all better because it was Easter Sunday. Where I got this I don't know. I guess I felt like it was OK to be down during lent, but Easter is the time of rebirth, of hope.

The fact is that I'm worried. Toby is sick. He had an accident in his crate last night, which isn't that major since we were taking a chance giving him too much space in his crate and a blanket. The problem is that, today, he's had bad diarrhea, even though we've given him medicine recommended on a first-aid paper from the vet. This started almost a week ago and it keeps coming back. Even that wouldn't bother me too much except that the medicine doesn't work for long and he's also scooting around despite the vet taking care of his butt glands. Does he have worms after all? Or is the butt-scoot due to the vet not doing a good job and the diarrhea just normal puppy issues from eating something weird? Is it the medicine we gave him last weekend?

Just having a sick puppy isn't the main worry. I'm confident that the problem is minor and that the vet can help. What is bothering me is all the money that we keep having to pour into the dog and the house. I knew this would happen but I didn't anticipate the job loss on top of it all. I feel so out-of-control. I need to go to my colon-rectal doctor but we can't afford it because we're paying for vet bills. That is essentially wrong but the fact is that having a puppy with recurrent diarrhea is too messy to not get treated whereas my problem can wait. Plus, part of the frustration is that we don't know what to do and how far this will go. How much treatment will this dog need? His neuter surgery is coming up soon and, because of a genetic problem, it's going to cost almost $400. I cringe thinking about how many doctor appointments I could get for that even without insurance.

Honestly, I'm not one of those people who believe that pets are like members of the family. If we genuinely needed to put down Toby I wouldn't hesitate. I won't pay for expensive surgery if it wasn't something like a neuter that we'd do for any puppy. I don't love the dog and probably never will. I like having him but I got him for the family and to keep me occupied. I like how he gives me an excuse to go for a walk even in bad weather. I like watching DH play with him. I knew DH would love having a dog and I was right. I enjoy it, too. I write all this because part of me is tempted to return him or, if they don't want him back (as per the contract) take him to the SPCA. He would be adopted in a heartbeat. He's a great dog. However, I hate to lose a great dog just because we're having money problems now. We know now that we like having a dog and that, as he gets older, he'll be more fun to have around because he will stop teething and he'll be housebroken. I don't want to give up yet. Plus we've already spent so much! Even though it's not right to spend money on a dog that should be used on human health care, my problem isn't immediate. I just need to consider it an investment for our family. We technically have the money in our bank account and, if DH were to get a job the day after giving up on Toby I would really regret it. It still stinks, though.

I'll call the vet and the groomers tomorrow and make appointments with them both. Hopefully between the two of them we'll figure out the diarrhea and the butt-scoot before the end of the week. If it's worm then we should be OK eventually since we just gave him his pill to kill/prevent all those pests.

I think I'm just frustrated with the puppy and unhappy with how much discomfort it must be in. I know it's dehydrated but I can't make it drink. He can barely control his bowels so we both get nervous when he's lose in the house. It's too cold to keep him outside. So he's stuck in his crate and we let him out whenever he gets anxious (and, sure enough, he goes to the door and goes outside to eliminate). If he's stuck in his crate he can't drink and he won't stay outside long enough to drink there, either. Plus, we fed him a little and it went right through him so he's hungry, too, but we can't get him nourished. Right now we have him in the entryway with a blanket and his toys and a water bowl. He either goes to the door or squats where he is every 5 minutes--at least cleaning the entryway is easy and he has access to water. It's the best we can do right now. There is nothing I can do to make him comfortable and I just want some time to concentrate without him either whining because he thinks he needs to go out or watching him constantly on the carpet. I also give him plenty of ice cubes which he loves so he's getting some liquids.

This is, I'm sure, really good practice for being a mom. If a puppy is a hassle and frustrating how much more would a child be?

On top of all of this is severe lower-back pain. I've had this for a little while before but never so constant and for so many days in a row. Yesterday and just now I took two Aleve. I'm glad it works but I hate taking pain medicine. I know that I must have either injured it (and taking medicine may lead to re-injury since I can't feel if I'm doing something wrong) or I'm not doing something right. The only thing I can think of is lifting Toby the wrong way. He looks like he's light-weight but he's at least 12 lbs. by now. He wiggles so much when I try to lift him that it's impossible to lift him correctly. I can't not lift him because sometimes we need to get him into his crate immediately and he won't always go on his own. DH might have to take over for awhile with making sure Toby doesn't go where he's not supposed to go. It also doesn't help that I sit on the floor with the dog or sit hunched-over on a chair to play with him. Plus I haven't done floor-mat exercises in a very long time, nor have I stretched. At least now I'm trying to stretch and it will probably help me later. I'm also walking at least once a day with the dog and briefly tried to run. I'm so out-of-shape it's pathetic. However, if I continue walking him everyday, it will help a lot. I know me--I'll walk further and further over time, and even start to run.

I've got my interview tomorrow but I realized last night that it's probably not going to be good for me after all. What was I thinking, going in for a receptionist position? I'd be so incredibly bored! I do not in any way want to sit or stand there waiting for parents and their kids to come to me asking the same boring questions. I'm an introvert and need a job where I can sit at my desk and have projects to finish in my time (quick, yes, and in deadline, just not with a million interruptions). I'm not a customer-service person and I don't want to be. BTDT and hated it. I would last only until I had everything figured out and then I'd start chafing under the fact that there wasn't any more challenges or projects for me to contribute to. I'd feel useless despite having a job to perform and I wouldn't perform that job well and my confidence would go down. I'll still go to the interview but, if it appears to be mostly customer service, then I'll tell them I'm not interested. There must be a job that works for me that I'll stick with.

My cycle is so dry right now and my temps are low, definitely pre-O. I'm on CD 44 and I'm going to temp until I CD 60, only longer if I get fertile CM around then. I have no idea if I'll O or not but, if it hasn't happened in a couple weeks then I'm giving up this cycle. There is no evidence it will happen in the next several days. I'm stressed still and I don't see that subsiding any time soon. I do hope I O before the end of the Easter season! Pentecost is May 27. I pray that DH and I have a job by then and that I've O'd. If I O once before May 27 then it will be the first O in 6 months (which is better then no O in 6 months!). I'm not even praying to get pg by Pentecost, just to O and have a chance, a genuine 2ww. I want that hope.

I was doing a lot of research today about birth options and the running theme I keep seeing is the lack of control. I've had this on my mind since before I was even married, what kind of birth I want. But the fact is that God is truly in control of that event. I've read great home birth stories and nightmarish ones. I've had friends tell me their epidural was the reason they enjoyed labor and read horror stories about it. I have to trust that, should I get pg and progress far enough to make a decision, that God will light the way. I don't have to make any decisions now. Insurance will be a deciding factor, as will my ability to find an OB and/or midwife I trust. There is absolutely no guarantee either at home or at the hospital that I will have a pleasant or horrible experience. There are no guarantees of safety or even that the baby or I will survive. I just have to listen to God and it will work out.

At least DH was totally cool about the way our holiday turned out. We were going to go to his grandma's for a nice family dinner. Instead we stayed here and had frozen taquitos and a leftover jar of queso. We couldn't leave Toby with him sick like this or we'd come back to a house that reeked of mess. Since it was a last-minute decision I didn't have time to go to the store for a proper Easter meal. DH handled it all, even my irritability and refusal to leave the computer with grace. He made lunch and dinner and kept a good sense of humor. I am a lucky woman! Oh, and it turned out that it was a good thing we didn't go with the family out-of-town. They got rear-ended and had minor injuries. It would have been really bad with my already-hurting back. I'm just sorry they had to go through that.

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

It never fails to amaze me. Just when I think I'm at peace with not conceiving yet I get another painful jolt. I found out that an old friend from college is expecting twins. This is wonderful news. So why was I so sad? Of course I know why. It's that petty, she-has-what-I-want thing mixed with the grief and uncertainty that is my body. I'm finally starting to accept that this pain will happen each and every time a friend or family member finds out she is pregnant. If I never conceive this pain will go on the rest of my life. I do want peace. I want to be happy where I am, not just when I get pregnant. After all, as soon as I do get pregnant I'll want something else. I'll want to not miscarry. I'll want to know I'm carrying a healthy baby. I'll want a smooth labor and delivery. I'll want the right baby stuff. Eventually I'll want baby #2 just as badly if not more than I want baby #1. And the cycle continues. And then, irony of ironies, the day will come when I miss the days before I had kids. If I can't find peace where I am then I will never find peace, ever. Of course, the way God seems to work, He gives us lots of opportunities to learn. So if I don't learn the lesson this time I'll learn it later.

Things continue here. We may have figured out the alarm thing once and for all, or we may just be at the beginning of a long fight with the alarm company. I really hope they just give us what we want! We have a bad ant problem outside but we dealt with the indoor ants and we have a plan for the outdoor ants. We took Toby to the vet and it turned out his diarrhea was just a bacterial thing, no big deal. His medicine started to work almost immediately. He got groomed today and his hair is super short. It isn't as fluffy and soft but at least this way we won't have to take him in any time soon. He's getting so much better. I found a trainer on the internet who really gets dogs. Basically I only correct him for disobeying pack rules (trying to be dominant over DH or I) or for not coming when one of us calls. All else is negotiable. We ignore him when he's in his crate and he's much quieter. He's eating all of his food and took his medicine today with no problem. We have birds in the chimney but I did some research and it turns out it's actually kinda cool. As long as we get the chimney cleaned during the winter it's not likely to cause any problems. During the spring/summer they'll eat lots of insects while they're here. They're kinda noisy but apparently they're an endangered species and the noise is more interesting than annoying.

On another good note, DH has several interviews this week. There is solid hope that he will be working again soon. I will have an interview hopefully before the end of April but maybe in early May with the church. I don't want the other job I interviewed for, and I don't know where else to look. I'm going to keep an open mind, though. God has a plan.

I can't wait for my family to come visit this weekend! I want to show of my house and puppy.

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

The visit with my family went sooo well! I miss my mom so much now that she's gone. Her and I had some drama between us for close to five years but I'm happy to say that we got along really well. Honestly, if she somehow decided to move her I would be thrilled. I even want to get to know her husband more. God is good! How appropriate to go through all this during Divine Mercy weekend Biggrin She loved Toby and we all had a blast. I shared with her more about our TTC journey and even showed her my FF chart. She's really supportive and even encouraged me to go back on clomid when I'm ready if that's what I want.

DH has three interviews this week; two were today. One went really well and the other was a definite no. It would be so cool if he gets a job soon.

My chart is really strange and I don't know what to think. I'm only going to chart for 6 more days since I should have an answer by then-O or anno. It could go either way. I don't have any acne, which is cool, but to me a sign of no hormonal activity at all. I still have hardly any CM, also strange. For the last week until this morning I felt wet inside, and also had vague O pains. All of that is gone today. Maybe I O'd last night? I hope I O'd when FF says I did but I doubt it. Because of my mom being in the next room we have no chance if I O'd last night. We haven't BD'd in a week. However, if I did O, then I know when to expect AF. I've been praying to O. My next cycle has a better chance. I'll be very disappointed to miss an O, especially considering it would be my third since June. However, I have to live my life. I could stress myself out to never miss an O but they're too hard to anticipate. I want to enjoy BD. I'll be upset if I don't have another O for awhile and I missed it but that's life sometimes. The only hope is if I haven't O'd yet and do within the next week. However, since my temps are weird, it's probably anno if I haven't O'd yet. My temps are higher then normal pre-O but still too low to know for certain. I hope my temps soar tomorrow so I can stop temping and just wait for AF. The uncertainty is frustrating. As long as I think I might not have O'd yet there is that hope that gets me frustrated over and over again. If I knew I O'd for sure then I can deal with our missed chance and get over it.

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

I'm probably going through a short-lived phase, but I've had enough of TTC. I've been on these boards for over 5 months now, and it's at the point where few if any TTC threads surprise me. I can often predict what they'll be about with even the most vague thread titles. to add to my frustration, my temp went down again and my chart is looking reliably anno. What am I doing TTC? If a woman doesn't O then she can't TTC without going crazy. I've gotten a lot of consolation on these boards but I feel like I don't belong here anymore. I'm at the point where I feel at least mildly jealous just seeing that a woman has O'd :roll:

To add to this, DH just got a job in which he'll be out of town most of the week, day and night. While he'll be close enough to visit, it's a long drive and I'm never sure enough that O is about to happen to justify it. I may visit him anyway but it would be because I wanted to, not because of O. My cycle looks the same whether it's anno or I'm about to O, and that can go on for weeks at a time. Or it can look anno for weeks and then O can happen out-of-the-blue.

I've said this before, and I'm sure I'll say it again, but maybe this is a great time to let my FF account expire and pack the thermometer away. I no longer get excited about EWCM, either, and, while I'll always probably be aware of it, I no longer make sure we BD when I see it. TTC was a challenge for awhile but now it's just work. I enjoy BD with DH, which is a blessing in and of itself. That part isn't work. But making sure I know the days we should BD is now just a hassle. I no longer get excited and think we may be cooperating in the creation of new life. I enjoy that time with DH but it no longer feels tied to TTC.

This may also be a good time to stop visiting the boards and just maintain my journal. I enjoy the complete freedom of writing things that I don't "need" anyone else to read. I don't worry about fitting in or being judged here. And I don't want to leave the pg.org community. I hope and pray that I can actively post on a birth board or the adoption board someday. But it may be time for me to leave the boards for at least awhile. I know that pressure we put on ourselves to have children, to do everything in our power to help it happen. But I want to leave that behind. Or to go on clomid with an understanding doctor with my only job being to make my appointments, take my meds, drink lots of water and BD after the trigger shot. Let technology deliver the O and determine the timing for me. Although that attitude doesn't seem very holy. God is in control and it's easy to transfer that to man and technology on that treatment. The dr seems to think that they conceived the baby instead of God. So maybe I really should just let it happen (or not happen as the case may be).

Another thing I liked about the TTC boards was that I felt like I could contribute. I had learned so much from CCLI and the Creighton Method and from my pcos, clomid and prometrium experiences that I wanted to share. But I've learned that my experience isn't really needed because someone else will have pretty-much the same information. I also wanted to learn more, and I did. I learned about vitex and clomid and pre-seed and OPKs as well as lots of useful websites. I gotten support from awesome women and felt great about reassuring others who went through the same pain or fear as me. But I don't feel like I'm needed there or that I'm learning anything anymore. Not that I know it all, just that I've ruled out so much that I don't want to do or that doesn't seem to apply to me (like some s/e, for example). In addition, it would be interesting to see what I did with all that freed-up time that I take up with the TTC boards. Not that I have a lot to do. But maybe I'd be more likely to find a job, or scrapbook once I can afford it. Maybe I would volunteer or go to adoration. Who knows what I would do with all those hours until I reclaim them?

Plus, I want to put making love over BD. DH and I are more likely to fight now then be excited. TTC has caused more depression in me since we got married then anything else. It's such a burden on my heart and crowds out everything else. It makes me feel so lonely and isolated in real life, even though I've shared my journey honestly with family and friends. I don't get excited over baby stuff anymore, or imagine what something would look like in our nursery. Yeah, it's cute, but I'm not much of a decorator anyway. It's not that I don't want a baby, but it's that I'm sick of wanting a baby. Besides, babies grow up so fast. The way it used to be, from what I gather, is that procreation was one of those things that just happened. It was part of life, not part of a plan. If it didn't happen for awhile then the woman would get insensitive comments or support. If it did happen it was a blessing (or, yeah, a curse). But it wasn't planned for or manipulated because it couldn't be. It wasn't an ambition, something that the rich were more likely to achieve because they could afford certain treatments. Health insurance didn't determine whether or not you tried or how you tried. Not that technology is bad or anything. I'm not saying that. Just that I don't want to tie plans and ambitions into our family size. I want to live an attitude of gratitude no matter how many kids we have or how God brings them into our family.

This feels like some kind of manifesto or something and I didn't wake up this morning thinking of this stuff. But it's been brewing for as long as I've been on these boards. Five months is long enough to form a strong habit that won't be broken easily or quickly. But I've been getting restless and, with DH's job taking him away from home for the entire week, I've got to get a job. I can't be alone all day and all night or I'll lose my mind. I can work nights, even. I probably won't do that but I've got options if I dedicate myself to getting out there and looking. There has to be something for me to do with my days. Someone must need or at least appreciate my time and energy for something! My confidence isn't strong but I've let the world go on without me.

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

I've been reading a dog book and realized that playing fetch with Toby so many times each day is not only boring for me but it's not good for him, either. It could lead to obsessive behavior. He's showing signs of too much pent up energy when he gets into his hyper spells and jumps around. Now he's biting our clothes. He's just playing but it's not fun. I've decided that the best thing I can do for him is to take him on walks each time instead of playing fetch, or just play fetch once a day. DH can take him out at least once, too. Tonight he was going crazy and I ran a little, too. It felt amazing! I used to run sometimes. Not a whole lot, and I'm not any kind of athlete at all. But there is something meditative about it, even more so with the master-dog communication that became automatic. He had to concentrate hard to make sure that his feet didn't go under my sneakers. I didn't even have to think about him and I like having him there. I also liked running at night. I had to concentrate, too, to avoid certain tree branches and sidewalk cracks. There were no kids to talk to or other dogs to avoid. What I want to do is throw on some workout clothes in the morning before my shower and take him out before breakfast. Later, take him further, maybe even as far as the in-laws (just a mile each way). I'll probably get some pepper spray, for the dogs more so then for people. I had a scary incident with a germen shepherd the other day that I want to be more prepared for in the future. I want Toby to calm down and I could use the exercise, too. I have time, with no job and trying to stop so much forum posting.

On the good side, we're getting better about being more assertive masters. We make sure that he sits while we exit doors and he exits afterwards. We make him sit before eating and before we'll throw for fetch. I'm also trying to remember to not give him any affection until he's obeyed a command although that's much harder. Toby is doing great about going outside, he's eating all his food, and he's coming more when we call. It's much better, and will only get better when we exercise him more. He's a high-energy dog.

I found a midwife tonight! We were at a party and it was a random meeting. I didn't get her contact info but it would be easy to get it later if we decide to go that route or at least do more research. I'm glad to have that option if we need it or just want more info.

I'm feeling better about not TTC. I also feel good because I had the acne, CM (I think, it could have been seminal residue) and libido that means I may be close. Or maybe not, who knows? We definitely didn't miss it if it was, and not because of TTC but because of my libido. I am making some small concessions. I take my temp each morning because it's so easy and because it gives me a lot of info. I think it also makes DH feel better, like we're still TTC. I'm not charting it but I will chart my higher temps once I get to 98.0 just long enough for FF to give me an EDD. I'm not going to chart anything until I see that 98.0. I'm not getting up at a particular time, either, although my body has naturally been waking up at the same time. I'll also chart my AF since docs ask about that and I want to have the answer ready if I need to go in. So I'll do those things. And I can't help but check for CM because it's a habit to check after I wipe. I've tried not doing that and it doesn't work, LOL. But I'm not really looking at it or anything. I'm also not being careful with BD, like with what lube we use or waiting 30 minutes after BD to go to the bathroom. I am sticking to our agreement to not drink alcohol (well, for the most part) unless I'm on AF because DH wants to be careful when I could get pg. As long as he flosses I'll lower my alcohol intake (although I only had one glass of wine a week before so it's not like it was an issue, but whatever).

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

We did the whole more-exercise thing today and I have to say that Cesar Millan is a genius. I took Toby for a two-mile walk this morning, with no fetch. Then I took him for a very short walk in the afternoon, no fetch. I took him out very briefly in-between just to go relieve himself but no playing and very little affection. Then DH took Toby for a two-mile walk and Toby was almost too tired to play fetch. He was very submissive in a healthy dog way to both of us and has slept most of the day away. No whining. I liked it so much that I arranged to go walking twice a week with my MIL since she's great about getting exercise. I also mapped out three routes to go on when I'm on my own so we don't have to go the same way each day. My biggest block to getting exercise is boredom so I'm hoping that, by having someone to walk with twice a week and having different destinations it will be OK for longer. Plus I'm doing it for the sanity of our dog and the sanity of living with this dog. We happened to get a high-energy, dominant dog and we have to either work with it or start over with a different dog.

DH and I being healthier is just the icing but what great icing it will be! Maybe it will even help with my pcos if I end up losing weight? I can hope. I've also had higher endorphins today and I've forgotten how great that feels. Also, If I really get bored or feel threatened then I'll go get a bike and train Toby to run alongside me. It will take less time and he'll be so tired out. That might be too much for him now since he's still a puppy but he has so much energy I bet he could handle it. This area is great for traveling around by foot or bike. Level ground, lots of routes, decent sidewalks, lots of parks. Score one for the suburbs!

Plus, I love exploring. I've always been like that, and prefer places where I can roam. I didn't know that dogs are hard-wired that way, too. I had no idea that dogs in nature roam around but it makes sense.

On the not-TTC front, I decided to check my morning temp only twice a week. Getting a low temp can ruin my morning so best to check it as infrequently as possible. I'll still see when I'm in the 2ww without being obsessed with it.

Oh, and I found a birth center that I feel good about. It's 30 minutes away and, if they take our insurance, it would be a good compromise between the whole hospital thing and home birth. Our friends and family could visit us, we wouldn't have to clean up, and they have jacuzzis for water birth or I could labor on the bed. It's certified by the state. Now I just have to get pregnant Wink

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

This morning I really thought my temp would be up since I had had good signs of O. EWCM a couple days ago followed by sticky CM. But my temp went down this morning instead of up. I was really disappointed. Then tonight I started spotting. I really don't know what to think. Maybe the spotting is sign of O and my temps will go up. Or maybe my body is just really confused and is now shedding lining for no good reason. I may end up taking my temp in three days just to see. I hope another 33 day AF isn't starting. I only had 27 days without AF.

On a good note, we let Toby out today to see how he did with house training. He did really well! The weather was good this time, calm, clear and sunny. He let me know several times that he needed to go out. We put up bells on the door and he took to them quickly. He was really calm all day (except for his normal hyperness after his walk and breakfast). I decided to just walk him for one long walk and maybe a couple shorter ones. We won't need two long walks. That almost seemed to make him more hyper not less. It's less stressful this way. He's calmer and he doesn't have to whine to go out. Since it was so nice I even left the door cracked open and he did OK. He just played but it's cool. I got to watch my show so I was happy. He even was a lapdog for a little while. Now he's sleeping on the floor at DH's feet. So cute!

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

I've been feeling so much better lately! I know that the morning walks have a lot to do with it. Even though it's not much I feel like I have more of a life now. I have a better emotional outlook.

I never did figure out why I had that spotting--it wasn't O, that much I know. My temps didn't go up after all. But that's OK. I put my thermometer away this morning after the third day of 97.3 temps. I'm just going to wait for the anno bleeding to start another cycle.

Part of why I feel so good is because I'm taking a more active leadership role in our church group. I've scheduled several social events. I don't know about the weekly meetings but a woman who works at the church is taking care of that.

Best of all is a non-mom event that I scheduled. Even though I didn't give enough warning it's getting good feedback. It'll be a small group this week but hopefully next month more woman can come. Knowing that I have this event to look forward to makes the events with all the women into something I look forward to instead of dread.

I miss my mom friends but I was spending too much time with them to the exclusion of making new friends. Mostly I'm shy and what happened was my closest friends two years ago happened to be the ones to have children. At the same time, I kept thinking that I'd be a mom any time now so I needed to cultivate the mom friendships so I'd be prepared. The fact is, though, that I was turning things around. I need to cultivate friendships with the women I have stuff in common with now. I need to enjoy having the time and ability to go to a nice bar and a late chick flick with the girls. The time will come when I'm in the mommy club. Then will be the time to talk about all that mom stuff.

It was a relief to see the long list of women I invited to this event. There are a lot of women I have stuff in common with, and many are happily married. It is possible that, like me, many of those women have grown away from the group for the same reason as me. It just happened that the women who were the leaders were the same ones to have children first. They naturally started planning events that encouraged them to talk to other moms. The rest of us faded out. There is nothing wrong with that. However, it makes what I'm trying to do have a place. The rest of us can come back. I want all of us to be comfortable, both the moms and those of us who haven't experienced that blessing yet. We all belong both in the Church and in the Body of Christ. I don't want the moms to feel excluded either. But that's not a worry. They have each other and have been friends since before they had kids. And most of the events will be for all of us regardless of marriage or children. I'll feel horrible if I'm encouraging cliques. I pray that doesn't seem like my intent. However, all the women I've been honest with totally understand. They appreciate what I'm doing.

I've been focusing on having kids but I know now that my main struggle has been for significance and meaning as well as identity. It isn't about kids at all. I felt, for the first time in awhile, that I had meaning when I did something as simple as invite other not-yet-moms out for wine.

I also think I'm going to apply to a local bookstore to work mornings with inventory. I think I'd like that. I'll walk Toby when I get home. I'll wait until I get back from Florida and after I know about the church job. Although I'm wondering if that's been filled already. I really hope they don't fill it without even interviewing me. That will be a blow to my confidence! I'd wonder what was so wrong with my resume. I thought they were going to start interviewing soon :-?

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

I came close to canceling my pg.org account today but I decided to wait. I sometimes make rash choices and then regret it. I really like writing in this journal but I worry, too. I don't know that I've said anything too personal but it isn't what I expected. My TTC feelings are changing and this journey is not going where I imagined.

When I first started I was so excited and proactive. Then came the first crushing AF. Then came the doctor visits and clomid. Amongst all that was the feeling that my life would change any day now and I was having a hard time dealing with that. My way was to prepare the best I could for motherhood. I read books about it, planned what kind of birth I wanted, and spent time with moms. And then the second crushing AF, and the rebellion into the world of adoption. I then did all the research I could and decided how I wanted to adopt. I just wanted to do something! I wanted to make my life happen, to have control.

As I started to accept the lack of control DH lost his job unexpectedly. We went through the drama of buying the house and bringing in a puppy. I stopped planning much of anything. I stopped my hobbies, my volunteering. I wouldn't commit to anything. I felt so abandoned!

Up until this time in my life, I felt at least some control and direction. I was completing a degree or I was teaching "for one more year". I knew the next step at least somewhat. Even if I didn't, I felt like I had a say in the matter, like when I was discerning to be a nun. It was my life. The hardest thing about TTC with pcos is not feeling that anymore. I can't really have that say. I don't know if I'm fertile or not at any given time. I can't really do NFP. We couldn't prevent TTC anymore than we can TTC. When you factor in the fact that DH's job is risky by nature you have a volatile situation. So much could change at any time and we'd have no way to prevent it or do much about it.

Through all of that, the ladies on pg.org were my anchor. They reassured me and challenged me. I reflected on where I am now and where I'm going (sometimes by comparison, many other times by contrast).

Now, though, I feel more ready to re-enter the world again, to make commitments. By the end of May I will have been unemployed for a year. I will have made it through my first year of marriage and all that has come with it. I'm starting to reach out to the women around me. I have some ideas about volunteer positions and jobs that I might enjoy. I'm sick of feeling sorry for myself and disliking my body. I am ready to embrace this situation as part of who I am (without getting so attached to the pcos that I don't want it to heal). I have many blessing to appreciate. My prayers have gone from "Lord, I want to get pregnant" to "Heal my body now" to "Help me to accept my body and myself for who I am".

My image of who I want to be has changed so much in this last year and especially while I've been on this site. If life was how I imagined I'd be a SAHM now. I'd be even closer to the moms around me and all I'd talk about would be my baby. I wouldn't understand infertility and I'd think that anyone can get pg just like that. But what I want has changed with all the disappointments and disillusionments. Now I am actually looking forward to getting back to work. I want to maybe work with animals at a good shelter around here. I'm going to look into work at a bookstore or the library. I'm going to see if the stationary store needs help. I will look into working with plants and learning about landscaping. There are more and more places that I'd consider. But I want to get out there. I want to live my life. I want to be who God has made me to be for now.

So this journal wasn't a TTC or an adoption journal after all. It won't lead to my becoming a mom. I'm not going to TTC or adopt for awhile. OK, no promises. Maybe tomorrow I'll be all set to do either one. One of the biggest lessons that I've learned is that I can't predict what I'll want. I think God has made it very clear that He is in charge around here! He is the King of my heart, the Master. I follow Him wherever He leads me. I am to be as docile as a little lamb. Through all these changes He has brought me to my knees, so to speak. So maybe I will TTC soon. However, most likely, this journal will come to an end soon. I like journaling but it's time to move on. I think I'm going to give pg.org a rest for awhile and then start up a new journal under a new username. It will either be a straight-up TTC journal (although I doubt it, I have no faith in that process anymore) or either a pg journal or adoption journal. But it won't be for awhile. I have no idea how it will go, or when anything will happen.

I can't wait for the day when I have one of those journeys to go on. But, for now, this turned out to be more of a house and dog journal than anything else:-)

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

Speaking of acceptance, the current theme of this journal, I came to a realization today that brings me a lot of peace.

A year ago, when I left my job and got married, I kept feeling like it was only a matter of time before I got pregnant. That made it OK to be home because why go to work if I'm just going to quit 9 months later? Well, jokes on me because that obviously wasn't a problem. After my clomid cycle failed six months after the wedding I started to realize that staying home because I might get pregnant was silly. It's just adding pressure on an already-pressurized situation.

Also, around that time, I decided to be a writer. I had always had a dream of being a writer. I figured that this was the perfect time to try. I was home by myself with nothing to distract me. Well, that dream of being a writer wasn't really me. I hated it! OK, I liked part of it. But I felt so constrained by the idea. I even joined a board for writers and wrote several chapters of a novel. But I happily let that go. This journal is the closest I may ever get and that's fine.

So back to my dreaded identity as a housewife, a possibly barren one. I knew it was time to start working full-time. But where? There is no job I want to do and I like being at home. It's just that I felt like a loser at home. I hated parties with DH's work friends. The inevitable "what do you do" question and the awkward silence when I say I'm home. I'm way too young to be a housewife. This is the 21st century after all. Many women worked hard so that we could work and I got my degree. I'm smart, gosh darn it! I looked down on housewives. Not SAHMs, no way. I wished and prayed to be a SAHM. But a housewife?

Well, it's been almost a year of me being at home, childless, and no prospects of a full-time job. I've applied for some and no luck. By the standards of my peer group in this country I'm an anomaly if not pathetic. I don't know anyone else in my situation here.

However, Yesterday I went in to interview for the recruiter of a several part-time jobs. It was kind of a group interview and we all heard each other's conversation. It was weird at first but actually not a big deal. Each one lasted just a couple minutes and wasn't personal. Anyway, the woman across from me was a college grad like me. The interviewer kept pressuring her until the woman admitted that she would, indeed, like a full-time job. The interviewer was glad to hear it and told her they had a great full-time job for her. It was a great fit, and all the woman had to do was admit that she wanted a full-time job. The interviewer figured that and told her (and all of us) that the part-time jobs they had were for students, housewives, or retirees. People who would stick around for awhile. I was next, and I proudly said that I was a housewife and truly wanted this part-time job. I said that my husband was the primary provider and that I helped my MIL as well as the work at home.

It wasn't until today that it dawned on me what had happened. Yesterday I felt no shame in saying what I was. And the interviewer was the woman I had used to want to be. She was a polished, competent professional, even a little glamorous (especially compared to me!). I openly realized that I like being home. Before I would have died before saying that to a woman like her. I realized that I could happily be home for years even if we never conceive and if we never adopt. The woman I want to be (in a way at least) is more my MIL then the polished professional. My MIL makes being a housewife look good. She does the best job she can whatever her job is. She enjoys it. Now I'm very different from her in many ways. I don't enjoy cooking (to her it's an art) or entertaining. I'm not as active and involved as her. I'm shy and introverted whereas she is very out-going. And I think her generation is at least a little more cool with the idea of housewife. But she makes the most of who she is the jobs she has. She looks for work and makes the most of it.

So I've decided to embrace being a housewife. I still want a part-time job, especially at the library. It's tailer-made for me. There is no reason to be alone in my house all day, every day. I'll help my MIL with her work as needed. But I'll also embrace the at-home stuff, too. I'm not talking about being Martha Stewart or anything. I'm not that talented. But I'll do DH's laundry which to me is the epitome of house wife and something I refused until now. I'll tell people I'm at home when they ask what I do. I'll be proud of who I am and what God made me to do. Not that I'll never work full-time outside the home. Someday I may get my masters and be a librarian which is something I've thought about for years but never been sure I wanted. When the kids are all grown-up and we have an empty nest I'll need to stay busy. But I hope to be proud of myself no matter what. I'm a wife and my job is to be a good wife. It took a year to adjust but I think it's where God wants me to be. And I'm sure DH will appreciate me finally doing his laundry Lol

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

Yesterday morning, out-of-the-blue, I started thinking about adoption again. I hadn't thought about in in months. And then there was a post about it on the JLIH board, too, which was a cool coincidence.

This time my ideas about it are much different. I'm still thinking about adopting from the foster care system. However, now I think about adopting a young school-age person instead of preschool age. I already figured out that I didn't want to adopt an infant or a toddler.

One of the reasons that I wanted a very young child was because we were just married and getting settled. Mostly, though, it was because our friends have very young children. That matters to me less, now, though. I used to feel bad about our house, that is wasn't big enough because our friends have bigger houses. But now I just want what's best for us. I actually want to bring a young child into our house and our hearts. It isn't about fitting in or having a life or an identity. I'll need to find other ways to do that in the meantime. It's just fine if our kids are older then our friends' kids. Our neighbors have kids the age I want, and we'll meet plenty of parents with kids the same age through their school and our church.

I'm also thinking about only adopting either one child or two same-sex siblings. Girl or boy, doesn't matter. Before I wanted to adopt a large family but not now. It's too intimidating and, the more kids we'd have, the more chances for large bills of some kind. If we stick to one or two then we don't have to wait as long. Our house would be a good size as it is without needing to have a bigger house almost right away. In fact, DH figured out that we could have this house ready for one or two school-age kids in a couple weekends. We'd need to move some furniture and, of course, buy furniture and stuff for the kids. We'd need to finish getting the house ready for the homestudy. We'd need a new oven since ours is not as safe as it should be with kids in the house. It's just old and can be smoky. In fact, it may be possible that, for less then $2,000, we could get this place ready for a great house for one or two kids. And family might help, too, with gifts.

Furthermore, race matters less and less the more I think about it. There are advantages for all of us if we look alike. However, if a child or siblings really fit in with us then that is way more important. There is a lot of diversity around here. In fact, most of the kids I see outside are not our race and often there are different races playing together. Plus, with school-age children, we'd deal with race immediately, whether they were our race or not, since their classroom would be very diverse.

Also, with them being school-age, I could still keep my part-time job. I haven't gotten one yet but I interview for one that I really want on Monday. I would like to work part-time while they are in school. I would want the rest of the day to have some peace and quiet and to get stuff done alone.

Another advantage of them being school-age is that, if I do get pregnant, it's a good thing. Before, with us wanting a large sibling group, my getting pregnant would just be one more. My rare ovulations are due to PCOS but it's so-far just random that I haven't gotten pg when I do. If I still haven't gotten pg in a year, which would be two years of TTC/not preventing, it would be unexplained. It could still happen for all we know. If we got pg after adopting the children, and they were the same sex like we'd require, then we would put them in the same room (if we hadn't already) and use the small room for a nursery instead of a guest room.

As for medical issues, it depends. Some would be easier to deal with then others. Asthma, for example, would be something that DH knows intimately and could deal with. Mental retardation, however, is not something we would ask for. We would want children who were very likely to be independent as adults. Autism is in the middle, neither a yes nor a no. A high-functioning autistic could be good for our family (not necessarily bad anyway). However, a low-functioning one may not be as independent as we'd prefer. We just don't know. I'm open to learning about different conditions and talking to doctors and the caseworker. I still remember the frustration I had with Toby having fleas, for crying out loud--could I handle a child having a surprise medical condition that the caseworker should have either realized or told me about? That could happen, and that is where grace and maturity comes in. At least the state generally helps with paying for medical issues. At least in theory!

I used to insist that we would only adopt but now I'm more open to foster-to-adopt. Unless that would mean a parade of kids coming through our house, however. I keep reading about kids up for adoption who have bonded with their foster parents. I know there are different struggles with that route. I know I could bond with a child and that child could get taken away and given back to a druggie parent or a relative that came out of the woodwork. I'd have to drive the children to visit with the very people who might take them away from us or make them upset. I know that may not be the right route for us but I would be open to discussing the possibility with our caseworker. I don't want to be daycare for the state but I want to be the foster-care mom the child gets attached to if they become free for us to adopt them.

One thing that we do need is more job stability for DH. We need to have more confidence that his job is stable. Also, we need more money in savings for times he doesn't have a job. However, we wouldn't need to wait as long as I had originally planned. God will provide as long as we're reasonable and make an effort to both plan and use good discipline with what we have.

Adoption was always something I would do if I couldn't get pg. Now, however, I know that I have to grieve my infertility even if I adopt. Even if we were to adopt an infant. My infertility is separate from adoption. And adoption is a separate call in the sense that different questions have to be answered. My house and relationship is poked and prodded instead of my body. Instead of bloodwork we do paperwork. Instead of insensitive comments about pregnancy there are insensitive comments about adoption. There are similar joys, though. I'd be a mom.

As for readiness, who really is ready to be a parent? I do know that, each year, I get more laid-back. I'd be 30 before this happens. If we got a 10-year-old or younger I would be at least 20 years older which is good. I handle clutter so much better. I've never been obsessive about cleanliness but I keep a healthy house. I'm more resourceful. I'm learning a lot from Toby, too. How to care for a living thing that will never give back like you give to it. How to deal with unexpected mess and, yeah, bodily fluids. That isn't as revolting as I expected it would be. How to pay attention to something other than your work and still get something accomplished. The total upheaval at first followed by a routine that will change regularly but will, indeed, be a routine. The necessity of paying attention when they're too quiet. The sacrifices of time, money, and attention that the young require. I'm also learning that enforcing discipline is difficult. It takes practice and patience as well as smart strategies. Plus, I used to think that I wouldn't be that good of a mom because I don't like to goof off. However, I like playing with my puppy. I talk to it like a puppy and enjoy being in the yard with it on a nice day. I like the responsibility of it. I know I need to be nurturing at this time in my life. I would be a good mom. Not super-mom, but a good mom if I'm true to myself and pray always.

As for DH, he's not really enthusiastic about this yet. He may never be, which would mean not having kids at all (if we didn't conceive). He's not against it, though, so we could go through the process together. He's open to that. I think that, once he's more settled at work, he'll be more enthusiastic. He just doesn't want to worry about providing for more people then us right now. Plus, he needs to grieve my infertility and we still have hope it will happen in this next year. If not, though, a lot can happen in a year and he may be thinking about it, too. It has to be our idea, not mine.

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

I got the job! I'm really excited about it. I'll be a library assistant in the children's section. It's a good position for me, using the skills I had as a teacher without the pressure of the big tests or managing a classroom. I enjoy working with kids one-on-one or in small groups, and I get to support literacy as well. It's also part-time, which gives me more flexibility. I can still run errands and have quiet time to myself during the day. This seems like the kind of job I can leave at work, unlike teaching where there were so many emotions and so many difficult tasks that I couldn't help thinking about it or working when I was home.

To make things a little more dramatic right now, I'm nearing the end of the 2WW. We had horrible BD timing so I didn't start getting my hopes up until yesterday. I had nausea, cramping, and now I have brown spotting. Add to that the red spotting that I had 7 DPO and it got my imagination going.

Then, however, I started to wonder if I really would be that disappointed if I wasn't pg this time. Yeah, I have only O'd three times since the wedding. But my reasons for wanting to get pg don't have as much to do with having a baby as it should. Rarely if ever in this past year have I actually imagined holding a baby! I've thought about shopping for the nursery, and showing the baby off to my friends, and the relief of telling my family that it could happen. I've thought about DH's joy of being a dad. I've been bored and wanted something special of my own. So I've wanted a BFP, but do I want a baby? I've agreed with the Church about the beauty of a big family and the importance of avoiding contraception and of only using NFP when there is a good reason to avoid. Early on, I enjoyed the challenge of TTC, of using the right products, researching treatments, and, of course, the all-important timing. So I thought I wanted a baby.

Growing up I never played house and imagined myself as the mom of an infant. I imagined myself home by myself, writing a novel, with the kids at school. Of course, I didn't fantasize about a wedding, either, and that worked out very well! I loved my wedding on the big day. I didn't much enjoy the lead-up to it. I didn't care about the stuff that every woman dreams of. I wanted a say but, when I got it, I discovered I was quite happy letting my MIL throw the party. She did a great job. So maybe getting pg will be like that. I'm sure I'll like having the baby in my arms. I mean, God gives women bonding hormones just to be sure. Even if every baby I've ever held cried as soon as I touched them. And I've never changed a diaper or really done anything to care for an infant. Why is all this occurring to me now after a year of TTC??? Where have I been?

Do I really want to get pregnant now? My confidence was shot when the last job ended. Now I feel good, like I have a fresh start. I know I would be good at this job. It won't be glamorous but there will be challenges and things to keep me busy. It's meaningful work, not like some part-time jobs I've had. And it's not just a good job in itself. I've thought about being a librarian. Being a librarian assistant is a great way to see if I still want to pursue that someday when we're ready for me to get my masters. So this is a career move, too, if I like it.

When you add to the fact that summer is the busiest time of year for the children's section, and the unbearable heat of summer here, and my terrible late-summer allergies, the first trimester would be miserable then.

I have good reasons for post-poning TTC for three months, meaning actual preventing using NFP until the kids are back in school. In addition to waiting until our section calms down, and the summer heat and allergies slowly fading, I'll be used to the job and it won't take as much concentration as all jobs do at first. Plus, if I don't get pg right away, I can put in at least a full year. I want to concentrate on one thing at a time. I've had a year to adjust to marriage, and time to get used to a house and a dog. I want time to adjust to the job, too.

I don't want to get pg right away. I'd feel like I was cheating them since they want someone who will stick around. Mostly, though, I'd feel like I was cheating myself. I've spent this first year of marriage focusing on TTC and for what? I don't enjoy it anymore. Mother's day and baby showers don't bother me anymore. I don't hesitate near the baby stuff. I'm still curious about the process of labor because it's fascinating. I would be OK, most days, if I never went through it myself, or not for a long time.

I don't think DH will handle this well, though Sad NFP to prevent has sacrifices, especially with my crazy cycles. Plus it will be more work for me. I'll have to chart my CM and my temps every day. I'll have to review the rules. I'll have to discourage BD when I most crave it. We may have to go a long time without it if I have a lot of CM. He'll probably be confused by this or think it's a temporary thing. I'll have to stay strong about this without being unreasonable or selfish. It can't be just my decision although DH has pretty much let me make all the tough decisions so far so I don't see why that would change now. Although, when you go for a year with BD whenever, it will be difficult to change that. He hasn't had to sacrifice anything as far as I can tell all year related to that part of our marriage.

Despite not wanting to TTC right now, I still want to learn about adoption. I could actually see myself as the mother of two young boys. I could see DH teaching them to fish and me teaching them how to train Toby. I could see cute children's furniture in the guest room and shopping for school with them. I can't see myself with a baby. No matter how fascinating it is, I've never actually wanted to go through labor. I used to think that no one did but I know that's not true, that some women enjoy it. I don't look forward to breastfeeding, just think that's it's the best for baby. I would but it's not something I look forward to. Come to think of it, there really isn't anything about actually being the mom of an infant that I want. I've never really thought about it, just assumed I had to go through it. I want to shop for it, and I don't want to feel left out by not having a baby, but I'd be glad when they grew up, I think. Maybe it would be OK if I never conceived.

This is so crazy but I'm just wondering about this TTC stuff. I want to be a mom, yes. But I want to just have fun as a married woman now. I feel like I've wasted a whole year trying to be someone I'm not. I thought that, if I did the research and played the part, I'd fit in. But I don't. When I read about the excitement of the women who have their BFP, I don't see myself reacting that way anymore. Maybe, when it's my turn, I'll feel that way. Maybe those women are more mature then me. Now I imagine I'd feel relief that TTC is finally over. Relief that I don't have to work so hard at that anymore (although I'd start to work even harder at being a mom, of course). I'd be happy to tell the new grandmas and definitely DH. But would I be excited? Or maybe I'd just be scared? Scared of all the doctor visits and people telling me what to do. Annoyed at the dietary restrictions. Plus, I know what it feels like to have constant nausea. I don't look forward to having it be even more intense! I also know what it's like to have other medical issues that come with pg. Mine would only be worse then it is already without being pg.

I figured that the first year of marriage would be difficult. No way did I imagine it would be this difficult. I never saw us buying a house so soon, or going through both job losses, or the ongoing TTC ordeal. Worst was the pervasive issue of identity, of who am I and where am I going.

At least things have worked out well in retrospect. Both of us are employed now and hopefully we'll both enjoy our jobs. We like our puppy who has been a pleasant surprise for the most part except financially. We like our house and love not living in an apartment. I love DH and love being married to him. We work well together.

This post started so positive and got pretty negative. I'm actually worried about being pg. Good grief, the irony! I spend a whole year wanting to be pg and now, at the end of a 2WW, I dread what could happen. This isn't about me, though, none of it is. DH and I have to work this out together no matter what happens.

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

This is what I posted on a TTC board today:

"warning, this is really negative!

I think part of this is being on my period, but I had a rough night last night and today is worse.

I think that all the stress and disappointments of the past year are hitting me all at once and the hormones of AF are compounding it all and making it worse.

I was actually relieved that AF came. I was actually worried that I was pg for a day.

The thing is, after a year of TTC, I'm so fed up with it. It used to be fun sometimes, or at least a challenge.

Now I think that all I wanted was the relief of a BFP, to know that my body wasn't entirely defective. I wanted some exciting news for my DH, family and friends. I wanted to shop for baby stuff with my mom and decorate the nursery. I knew that DH wanted a baby and wanted to make him happy.

Now, though, that it keeps not happening, I'm reevaluating things. I'm wondering why I worked so hard for a year to get pg. It's such a basic thing, but why do I want it? Is pg really what I want? Or am I just trying to fit in with what's expected of me? After the joy of the BFP, what comes next? Do I want all that comes with it?

I really wish I had just gotten pg before asking this basic question. I'm sure that the instinct to get pg is part of who we are. But now I'm wondering.

I talked to DH last night, and told him I wanted to avoid for three months. After that I may want to avoid for 3 months more, etc. He can agree to three months but not more than that at a time.

I think that my heart is hurting from all the upheaval we've had. The job loss scared me more than I could admit at the time. Now I just want to save our money and protect my heart from more anxiety. I just want things to stay the same for awhile. I just want to go to work, take care of Toby, and live my life. The last thing I want is to get pg right now. It'd just be one more thing to cope with.

I'm also angry with DH because, while he says he wants a baby (as opposed to not TTC anymore and eventually adopting instead), he doesn't do anything to help. He really can't though, so I shouldn't be angry. He rarely initiates BD (because only I know when I have fertile CM) and he hasn't been to a doctor to get himself tested, only me. He did say he would go but we canceled the appointment for financial reasons. More than that, though, is that I've made all the big decisions concerning TTC. I'm tired of being in charge of it. I used to be glad that DH was so supportive of what I wanted, but now I just feel alone in it. I feel like I'm just TTC for him, not for us. I feel like, if I don't TTC, that I would be going against some unspoken marital agreement. He never asks anything of me, and he's the kindest guy. It makes me feel like a jerk having these thoughts.

On top of that, he barely has enough energy when he comes home from work to give me a little attention. I have to ask him every night to please give the puppy some attention and to take the initiative to get up from his easy chair when the dog needs to go out. DH gets this pained look each time that the dog interrupts whatever he's working on. And he wants me to have a baby??? Where is he supposed to get the energy to help care for the baby? Does he think I'm going to do all the work myself?

So, anyway, I warned you that this was really negative. I wish I could just leave for awhile. I love DH and want to stay with him, but I can't take the stress of what we've been through. We've only been married a year and this is the biggest crisis to me. Maybe this is some little hormonal AF thing but it keeps coming up, month after month. This is the first time I've thought about actually avoiding pg, though. DH wants me to get pg but now I don't know. DH and I no longer want the same thing if I really try to avoid.

I called a counselor I used to see so that I could make an appointment with her. I know this is something we can't handle on our own. I don't want to lose DH.

I probably won't be around here much for the next few months. I'm going to be more busy than usual and I just don't fit in with TTC-ers, even JLIH. You ladies have been so supportive. I just need a break, and to get some professional emotional support. I wouldn't feel like I have much to add to the conversations anymore. Not for awhile."

To add more, I'm actually thinking about sleeping in the guest bedroom for awhile. DH would freak out. How did this happen to us? It's not his fault, and he's a wonderful husband. I think I'm just too stressed out and overwhelmed. My hormones at the beginning of AF are always tough but this being depressed each time it starts is kinda new. It happened before when I was on prometrium, but it scares me that it is happening now without the meds. I can't take progesterone, but the lower levels I have on my own are causing the same problem. Damned if I do, damned if I don't. I may talk to my counselor about getting an anti-depressant just for my period. I think that most of them take time to work, though, and I wouldn't take them during the 2WW so that isn't an option, either, unless there is one that worked right away.

I don't know what else I can do. I wasn't as hormonal before my period so I think the daily walks help with that. I didn't have the same cravings, either. So the PMS is better, it's just the AF depression.

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

OK, so I'm not as depressed or as angry as before. In fact, I started feeling better before DH came home from work. We both got a good laugh from my plan to ask him to unfold the futon for me to sleep on. That's as silly as a kid asking their mom to pact them a lunch so that they can run away.

Right now I'm immobilized by cramps, painful to the point of nausea even with supplements to reduce the severity of the bleeding and the old stand-by extra-strength tylenol. I need DH to do just about everything today. I can walk to the bathroom and that's about it. He'll need to run my errands and bathe the dog. Good DH, he doesn't even complain.

We went to a foster-care festival today and we learned a lot, some of which was surprising. DH really seemed to enjoy it and liked what he heard. We really liked the agency that put on the session, and we'll likely go with them when/if we're ready. We found out that they require us to be married for at least two years before the homestudy so we'd have to wait another year anyway. This agency only works with "basic" kids, not the kids requiring extra special services. They are a smaller agency with a lot of experience and history. They are faith-based, and only do foster/adopt through CPS, not private adoption. Because of that, and being non-profit, they don't charge any fees or work directly with birth moms, only CPS. This fits in better with what DH and I feel called to do. It's not a moral choice, as I fully agree with agencies that work with birth moms who make the brave choice to give up their children to be adopted. I also have a lot of respect for parents who adopt from overseas. It's just a personal choice for DH and I to adopt from CPS (as well as a financial one). This agency seems to suit us best. It has also been recommended to us more than once, which helps, too, and they were all so nice to us today. The timeline didn't seem very long, from 3-6 months after turning in the application.

As for some of the surprises, I found out that they have more babies offered to them from the state for foster care then they can place. I thought that they had more older kids. Of course this is foster care, not adoption. Most of the babies are just fostered for awhile. Every once in awhile, though, they have what they call a legal-risk adoption. These are babies that, for several reasons, are placed with the intention to adopt from the start. Maybe the mom has a history of not being able to keep her kids, for example, and has lost several. This is all so sad. Anyway, sometimes that happens. It's still a foster situation, though, until the courts and the case workers finish the process and the adoption is finalized. Several of those kids are actually placed with kin, hence the risk.

In any foster situation, they can call you anytime, day or night, when they have a child to be placed. You don't meet the kids ahead of time. When they are brought to your home you have the full-time commitment similar to adoption but you know they can be removed in a moment's notice, too, although you usually have some notice that it will happen. That would be so hard, and it may not be right for us, at least not until after we start to raise bio children or have adopted already.

They did say today that being a foster parent for awhile is a good way to prepare to adopt from CPS. It would give us a chance to get familiar with the system, learn the rules, and we'd have to go through the same requirements either way. I don't know if that's something we'd want to do or not. But we don't have to make that choice for a year or more anyway.

This agency also does adoption of children who are legally free and staying with foster families who can't or won't adopt them for whatever reason. They are older, which is something I might prefer anyway. These are kids who are ready legally for a forever family. I would hope that we could meet these kids before the adoption, although, even if we couldn't, it doesn't become final for six months. Even then, however, each disruption re-traumatizes them so it's imperative that the agency does what they can to make a good match before the child is brought to our home.

Another thing I realized today that was bothering me was that I saw my job as something I'd have to give up if we had an infant and something I could keep if we adopted an older child. I assumed, when we got married, that I would want nothing more than to leave whatever job I had when I had a baby. Now, though, I wonder if that's true. I talked to DH and he said that I wouldn't have to quit my part-time job if I didn't want to. I would have to make arrangements for their care while I was at work during the day, and I said we would pay for their care with my paycheck since mine is for our savings anyway. I don't "get" anything from my paycheck any more than DH "gets" anything from his. We budget for all our needs from his money, and the rest goes into savings. So giving up part of my income for paying for childcare while I'm at work makes sense and isn't a sacrifice or unfair on my part. Anyway, the reason I would work would be partly to build up our savings but mostly for me to have a break from being home all the time, alone with our kids, be they foster kids or our kids. I like the idea of building literacy and helping other families. I don't know what I'll do for sure if we have infants since that would be many years of having to deal with child-care issues and barely making enough to pay for day care. However, if we adopt older kids, I'd want to since it would only be an issue during the summer and school holidays. Plus, I imagine that, when I see that infant, whether it's foster or mine, I'll want to focus on caring for them. I may also be too tired to enjoy work as much. I just don't know. The point is that I may not be a SAHM full-time after all. In fact, if I found good, reliable, affordable child care I may want to continue to work no matter the age of the child. Or I may happily leave my job for several years to be completely available.

I was able to talk to DH about my concerns and he saw my point (whether or not he agreed) for the most part. I felt like he heard me, and we even had a few laughs to break the tension. He was so tired the night I was hormonal that neither of us were in a place to communicate. He understood what I meant about him being tired when he came home, as well as tired when it came to helping care for the dog. We didn't have any answers for that, just understood it was a concern for me. We also don't have any answers for him taking more initiative in TTC, either, but he heard what I said. He did agree that we could avoid (with NFP) for a whole year, and that we had been through too much upheaval for me. I don't adapt as quickly as he does, and I respond to stress differently. He understood that. Most likely, though, since I hate charting now, we're just going to stop all charting for at least a year, maybe more. We're not going to get any tests or bloodwork done. I'm going to stop spending my days surrounding myself on-line with women who want to be pregnant. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I'll miss the women as they feel like friends. Many of them would probably be friends IRL if they lived near me, and some who live around here are becoming friends IRL. So it's not that I don't like them or don't want to share with them. It's just that it's too much focus on TTC for me. Many of the smarter women come on-line once a day max but I was on here way too much. So I've decided to stay off of the boards. If I ever have a health question I may post it but that's it.

All I want right now is to stop thinking so much about babies and fertility. I want to focus on my job and enjoy my marriage. DH said he'd be more open-minded about adoption and he certainly was today. He was great! So we'll probably go back and forth on that for the next year, even more-so with each AF. AF makes me more introspective to begin with, even more now since it means I'm not pregnant for sure. It's a natural time to bring up adoption once again when we want to.

DH also said he'd be more open-minded about not necessarily having babies. It's cool and very natural that he wants that but I didn't want his happiness resting on it since that puts pressure on me. He seems more OK with that now, and, if I'm not pregnant after a year of no charting, then he'll have had two years to cope with the idea that it may never happen and begin accepting it. Same for me. He is OK with me not charting at all and comfortable with us focusing on just being married. After all, if we're not contracepting and the only thing keeping me from conceiving is pcos then the odds are in his favor eventually with regular married life! I'm trying to be healthier for myself but that will also help my fertility. I still have 7-12 years, maybe more, of chances unless there is an undiagnosed issue. So we probably will conceive on accident eventually and it'll never be the perfect time. DH also sees that this job interests me more than either of us expected and I'm excited to be working again. I had assumed I would never feel this way about work outside the home so it's caught us both off-guard. We can work with it, though. There's no rush for us to get pregnant but I'll try to have a good attitude about it if it does. I want to stop trying to control the situation so much. I also want to stop trying to rush in to exciting things.

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

Yesterday I went from not wanting any more treatment/testing to wanting surgery.

My period was really bad yesterday, so bad it made me nauseous and I could barely get out of my chair. As I'm sitting there, I'm reading a magazine article about endometriosis. The crazy thing is that I never even considered it. I've focused on my pcos. Plus, I don't have as many periods now because of pcos. I've also always had some excuse for my painful periods even as the pain has gotten worse over the years. Yesterday, though, I had no reason for the pain. I couldn't say it was a lot of fluid build-up because of the 33 day AF that preceded it. It wasn't medical because I took no medicine. It was my first AF in a long time without prometrium preceding it. So I had to consider there may be some overlooked reason for it. Endo is not rare, and, when I did some research, I found that I have every symptom, even the less common ones like allergies and IBS-like symptoms.

The thing with endo is that it causes so much pain for me that it's debilitating. If it were to come on a day I was scheduled to drive anywhere or go to work I'd have to cancel. By some miracle it's never hit on a work day. It always hits on a weekend. I've lived with fear, wondering which day it will hit and praying it won't mess up this plan or that event. This is something I've taken for granted in the years since college after I went off of the pill. The pill reduces endo pain and my periods didn't hurt while I was on it. I just thought I had painful periods, but what if it is endo and it's treatable? What if I didn't have to be afraid, at least for awhile, of it?

In a way having pcos with it is good because I have less O's and, therefore, less AF. However, if I don't chart my temp regularly, I don't know when AF is coming and I can't prepare. If I take chlorella and cayenne tablets for 2-3 days before AF the pain isn't as bad. It lasts longer, but the bleeding isn't as heavy. It's still bad but it's allowed me to go to work on a few tough days. If I wait until the day the heavy bleeding hits, though, it takes up to 8-12 hours for it to work, too late for me to just work around it. That's a day lost. Plus, the supplements taste so gross that I procrastinate. It's denial, thinking that, maybe this time, the pain won't be so bad.

I also used to rely on extra-strength tylenol but now even that doesn't work for hours, and not well enough to help me go about my day. Yesterday was the first time it totally failed me but it's been less effective as the years went on.

I'm going to find a new RE/ob/gyn when our insurance kicks in next month and find someone who will do a lap and check for me. This is a pain management issue not a fertility issue although, if endo is blocking my tubes, fixing this will help my fertility.

This is aggravating in a way. I should be happy I may have figured this out. But the last thing I want is to go through any treatment now. We can't afford it for one thing. I want to save our money. I hate meeting with doctors since they just confuse me. I've seen enough waiting rooms to last a long time.

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

I had my first day at work today and I really liked it. The job is nice and so are the people I work with. They are flexible as long as you don't take advantage and understand what is a privilege and what is a right.

I met with my counselor and she agreed that my mood swings were too much. I might go on anti-depressants if the vitamins don't work after taking them more often. On a good note, the lactaid milk seemed to work. I really do think the gassiness was caused by the type of salad I was eating. Anyway, so hopefully I really am just mildly lactose-intolerant and reducing my lactose will help reduce the nausea. Eating a salad for lunch seems to help reduce my need for the citracel, which should help my nausea go down, too. Hopefully I'll be able to keep up with the vitamins and my next cycle won't be so bad. I won't take any hormones in order to help my fertility anymore, not without way more bloodwork by a way more qualified doctor which I don't want for a long time. I hope to deal with this stuff on my own with nutrition. I may never be fertile but I don't want to mess around with my hormones for a short-term gain, even pregnancy. This depression is dangerous if it gets any worse than it was this last time. At least it's short-lived, only lasting a day or two. I think the exercise helps the duration go down. I was severely depressed for three weeks on the prometrium! Two days is quite an improvement. All this to try to prevent that crazy depression right before and/or at the beginning of AF.

She also agreed that stopping all charting was a great idea. I had gotten so focused on my goal of pregnancy that I lost perspective and balance. Reducing that hyper-awareness of not only my body (and all that seems wrong with it lately) but also of my non-motherhood will be helpful. I need to learn to let go of some control. After all, she reminded me, life does not go as planned in motherhood, even pregnancy.

I feel bad letting go of TTC in a way since I feel like I'm wasting opportunities. I might O more these next several months than usual because the long AF might help for awhile like it did last time. What if I O these next few months and I miss it because I'm not paying attention? Or what if I could have become pregnant but I didn't because I put off the diagnoses/treatment for endo? But she reminded me that taking time for myself and to get back in balance is more important to my mental health. She loved that DH and I want to focus on our marriage now after this past year. I need to be strong and truly let it go. After all, if I do become pregnant then we'll cope. I can decide about my job when the time gets closer. It's not the end of the world for anyone if they need to replace me earlier then expected. I can still put it on my resume/grad school application when the time comes. If I don't get pregnant while letting it go, then we can cope with that too. Now I need to get healthy.

Come September, unless my AF gets dramatically less painful, I'll start looking for a good doctor who will do a lap to test/treat endo. I may put it off longer then that, of course. However, when I do get back on the TTC roller-coaster, I'm going to meet with my counselor at least once a month. I need a voice of reason that I can't argue with and who isn't biased one way or the other. She can help me cope with what I can't control.

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

One of the women I work with wrote a memoir and I told her I was writing one, too, awhile ago. I started out writing a novel and realized that it was basically a poorly-disguised memoir and dropped the project. At the time I was writing it the subject was just too close to me. Plus, I worried about publishing, of all things, and worried what my loved ones would feel if it actually happened. I knew I could never let it out and that also strongly contributed to my dropping the project.

That said, I enjoyed the writing part. I also like this journal. I haven't told anyone in my life except DH about it and I pray they don't find it. I try to write as if they will see it since they might and I don't want to hurt anyone. Besides, it's about me and I'm sure it's too boring for most people to get through. In addition, almost everything in here is my feelings and I share them with my loved ones anyway so I doubt that any of these entries would be surprising. That said, I try to be honest in here, too, at least with the big picture. I can't say everything but what I do say is generally true. Why would I waste time writing anything else? I like sharing my ideas not knowing exactly who is reading it. I like sometimes getting feedback on my ideas. I've been more open then I thought I could.

Anyway, the reason I say this is because the woman at work who wrote a memoir co-founded a writers group. The members, mostly women from what I gather from their website, seem really cool. It might be nice to start writing again. This time I would write a straight-up memoir, never mind who I hurt. I don't really believe it doesn't matter who I hurt, just that I'd write the truth as I see it. Then burn the manuscript, lol. The point is the writing process. Getting feedback about writing will also give me feedback about me and my life. Even if I wasn't writing a memoir that would be true.

Joining the group would be a small question except that it's the same night as a church group I'm in. Not only have I been going to this group since I met DH but I'm basically the secretary of the group (at least for now). If that changes then that might be a sign to leave and join the writers group. If not, then I don't know. I've been wondering if I want to continue with the church group and this may be the time to leave for something different. The fact is that most of my friends have left the group or I'm good enough friends with them that I'd still see them elsewhere. Mostly, though, I don't know if we'll get a strong enough leader who will revitalize the group. No one so far has expressed any interest. Some people have great ideas about discussion topics but they can't commit due to work. It's been floundering for quite awhile. It's no one's fault, it just happened, so slowly that it hit all at once that the group was completely different. Young adults move on; this is just life. When I joined, DH and I were just dating. As we've come to the point we're at now our friendships have changed over time, too. We grow closer to some people and further from others. We're maybe at the point where we see friends at weekend events instead of a weekly study group. Besides, DH can and probably will still go to the study group like always. He might even take more of a leadership role since he'd be great at it.

I don't know about either of these groups for sure, whether I'll join one or leave the other. I may not do either one. But I do know that I need a change of some kind. I want to continue working on surrounding myself with positive people who are proactive in their life, people who have fun.

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

I am so disappointed. We found fleas yet again. The products we buy for Toby are crappy more often then they are decent. At least his new collar worked really well. He doesn't pull me anymore. But I will not live with my DH getting bitten by fleas! I think I have a bite, too. We used the Advantix stuff and then, since he stinks from his walks, we bathed him using a shampoo that is specifically supposed to be OK with topical flea products. It was expensive, too, but it gave him dandruff and obviously interfered with the flea product. What a waste of money! I told DH that we are going to get rid of the dog if we can't get the flea problem under control. Fogging the house doesn't work and treating the yard doesn't work. We just bathed him with dish soap for 10 minutes and flea combed him. Then we put the new advantix on. This month we aren't going to bathe him at all until the end of the month. We'll just use wipes when he stinks. I'll be looking for him to scoot his rear and for the runny eyes, which seem to get worse when he gets fleas. I'll also look for him to scratch himself a lot. He had all those problems this month but I assumed the medicine would work so I ignored it. DH saw a flea, though, so we know he had them. Plus, DH saw two spots on his own neck that he insisted were flea bites. I said they couldn't be so I disregarded it. I feel bad about that--like DH wouldn't know what a small, itchy spot was on his own skin is.

When I said that I would give up Toby in a heartbeat if we couldn't get rid of the fleas, though, he started to say that he could handle the bites. I said no. Either way, I started to reevaluate the situation. When we got Toby, I was home all day. Now I work, and I feel so bad leaving the dog alone so much. Plus, it is unbelievable how expensive it is. We're spending twice what I expected and it's not like we have extra to spare. It also takes twice the time I anticipated to care for him. Yes, he's a very good dog. He's well-trained, hardly barks, is really cute, and is mostly obedient. He wouldn't last more than a day at the shelter because some family would pick him quickly. They wouldn't be disappointed, especially if they were used to dogs and more flexible about fleas. Some people just don't get bothered by them. Because of him I walk 5 times a week and feel better than I have in a long time. My cycle seems healthier. Mostly, though, I like caring for a creature. DH does, too. After thinking about it, we came up with a plan. We're going to see if the advantix works this month with no bathing. Of course, we'll also have to see if the wipes work in keeping the smell down since we don't want a stinky dog, either. We already have a very strong deodorizer and it only does so much. If that does the trick then we're OK. If not, and Toby still shows signs of fleas and DH gets another flea bite, then I'll call the vet and see what they recommend. Although I know the answer since they're the ones who sold me the Advantix. But maybe they have another solution. If none of that works, though, then we may need to give up Toby. I will not have my DH bitten.

When we have kids somehow then we'll need to look at the situation again. It may be that we are a couple who either have kids or a dog, not both. We could use the money we spend on him on a child. We'll have the child to nurture and care for. I'll be so busy working and being a mom that I won't have nearly enough time to care for Toby, too. Now that we know the true expense of a dog we'll be prepared for the whining of a child who wants a puppy. I can't see us going through this again if we don't keep Toby.

We've learned so much, both about ourselves and about dogs. We've learned the products that work, and what is really necessary. We've learned how much time and money it really takes. We've learned and practiced consistency and discipline. We've had a project that is mutual. We've had success together, like house-training him. We've learned that we are both very thorough people who don't do something half-way. I hate to think how much we will obsess about parenting. It's just who we are. We're the same way about the house and about our marriage and our health. I don't regret the last two months even if we can't keep Toby. He has been fun and we'll have nice memories. He kept my mind off of babies for a little while and let me care for a creature that needed it.

On a completely unrelated note, I had a great time with DH this weekend. He took me on a long date and it was so nice to spend the whole day just relaxing with him. He made me chocolate-chip pancakes for breakfast. Then he took me to see a wonderful movie. It was one that I wanted to see but I didn't say anything about it. He saw it on his own and thought we would enjoy it. It was Waitress and I highly recommend it. Then he took me to a children's museum for a special exhibit that was fun. Finally, after going home to take Toby out and change, we went shopping at Victoria's Secret and then we went to a very nice restaurant for a wonderful dinner. That day reminded me why I married him. We so needed a day to just have fun together and not deal with chores or be on the computer. We only talked about fertility and adoption once and only very briefly over dinner. The day was about having fun and being both friend and spouse. I even felt giddy again, like I did when we were first dating (except with the advantage of being able to lie together that night Wink ). We're going to make this a tradition for our anniversary. DH took me on an all-day date for our first date and this is a way to remember that while growing together.

Oh, and I realized something about when I wanted to sleep apart from DH. I have a friend who is also grieving infertility. I can't go into details but I realized that my wanting to sleep apart from him wasn't so much anger at him. Yes, I was angry at him at least a little and some of it was justified. However, mostly I was rebelling against hope. I knew in my gut that, if I went a cycle without intimacy with him, that I couldn't get my heart broken yet again. If I couldn't hope then I couldn't get hurt. Hope is a burden sometimes. However, when I had so much fun having intimacy with DH this weekend, I prayed that I would never really rebel against hope again. We were so close, and that helps us in so many ways. I want to love him and accept hope and grieve fully when AF comes yet again. That hope leads to the biggest hurt I've had yet. I know that, by hoping, I'm inviting pain. It's crazy, but I have to do this as a Christian. I also know that there is nothing to keep that hope away. Even knowing that I probably have endo will not stop me from hoping and therefore hurting. I finally know that now. I have hope as a Christian and the knowledge that God is in control. I know that, as long as DH and I are still intimate, God could bless us with a baby. God can overcome anything to bless us in His time. So I will go on hoping and go on hurting. It's my joy and my duty.

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

I'm feeling restless. I don't want to think about TTC but every time I think I can let go something weird happens and I have to think about it. It takes more work to not think about TTC!

On Sunday evening, after our weekend BD marathon, I started to bleed. It went from brown spotting to dark brown clots to the current pink spotting. It's lasted over two days now, continuous. It's just heavy enough that I need a liner.

So of course, out of worry and mostly curiousity, I Google mid-cycle spotting. Big mistake. It brought up a lot of ambiguous possible causes, none of them good. It was CD 13, which would be an obvious O spotting for many women, but not me. It's lasted too long for that (I've had O spotting before and it just happened for one wipe not two days). I had no CM and CD 13 is just too early. I did, however, have a strong libido (obviously, hence the BD marathon) and some acne. But I still don't have any CM. I may have to temp for a couple days. Can I not go one cycle without charting?

If it's not O spotting then it's definitely not good. It could be fibroids, polyps (pre-cancerous or benign), endo or wacky hormones levels. Yay for me. Knowing all this I still don't want to go to the doctor. I will once the summer is over but not now. It is the last thing I want to go through and we can't afford it. I just want to save our money for awhile and actually keep it or spend it on something positive, unlike the house repairs and vet bills it's been spent on recently. Doctor bills tops the list of things I don't want to spend our meager savings on. I'll just end up more confused then ever. I don't want to spend time trying to find a good RE who is on our plan and isn't a jerk. I don't want painful and humiliating tests and treatments.

And yet each month I get yet another reason that I really should go. And those reasons don't lead me to believe that I may at least get a baby out of it, either. It's fear of cancer and debilitating pain that drives me. I've given up on hope of regulating my hormone levels; all I hope for in that is that some miracle will keep my depression from getting to suicide level. I no longer hope for regular cycles or less PMS. I don't bother worrying about what wacky hormone levels might do in the long run. I just want to know I probably don't have cancer and have periods that don't put me out for a couple days.

My only other wonder is that BD marathons may cause bleeding for me. The last time we had that kind of frequency in that short of time I started AF the next day. The weird thing is that I started AF after only 6 days of prometrium that time. It was AF, though, since it was heavy after a few days and my temps reflected it being AF. I've never heard of BD causing bleeding, though. One other thing is that, both times, we were BD after a long time without BD. I felt the same way this time as I did on our wedding night. Plus, with no CM (even though we used our usual products) it might be more likely to cause a problem. So maybe? I'll post it on a forum even though it's humiliating.

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

The bleeding is all done and my temps are now down to the normal low of 97.3. I had a little bit of CM yesterday which makes sense.

I'm wondering if I would benefit from taking my temp at least once but probably twice a week. If some other weird thing happens it might help me feel better. However, if nothing happens, I'll just be thinking and obsessing about where I am. I'm leaning towards not temping. I can always change my mind later. I don't even have to chart it, just check to see if it's risen. This is one time that I would be happy to see low temps for three months. After that last AF I don't want another one for a long time. It hurt!

DH and I went camping this weekend. It was a learning experience but fun. We had nice neighbors who helped us get our fire going. It was nice getting away from the computers and distractions.

This week seems to be a good one so far. I don't have a super-full to-do list and I don't have to be a work early even once this week. Not that it's a big deal but I love being able to let my mind wander in the morning and not worry about being late. Plus I get more done around here in the morning than I do in the afternoon after work.

Ugh, why can't phone companies do their job? I'm having the worst time trying to get our phone bill to a reasonable level with the land line and the phone-number transfer for the cell phone didn't work even though it was within the same company. Every time I get a new phone (once a year since the battery doesn't last much longer than that) I go through some new hassle with them. I looked at the other similar plans and none of them seem better. If I was paid for every minute I was on the phone with those companies I could quit my part-time job. I would be thrilled to cancel the land line but, if I can't get decent service with the cell phone then I'm just as bad off or worse. DH isn't so sure about canceling our land line and these cell phone problems aren't helping me convince him!

Why is this so hard for them? They create so many crazy options and don't make it clear what each costs. I'm glad for new technology and options, and I'm all for capitalism, but things change so fast and the companies can't keep up while still trying to make their profits. We're supposed to have options in which company we use but we totally don't, not realistically. There is no real way to get our concerns addressed.

For some good news, we have health insurance now. The company didn't send a card for me, which is disconcerting, but hopefully I'm covered as well.

In the process of getting these settled for the year we've also gotten some other banking things taken care of. I'm changing how we keep track of our finances a little and I'm excited about the change. DH and I will be more autonomous in some areas and still cooperating in things like our monthly bills. It will be nice to not argue so much about some picky issues, and I will be very happy not to have to put his gifts to me in our checkbook register! There is no killjoy like recording the cost of the flowers he gave me :roll:

I should go and get my day started. Although Toby sure doesn't look eager for his walk--he's snoring by my desk, LOL. It was nice, last night we put his crate in our bedroom. I didn't think we'd do that but I hated leaving him all alone in the living room. He seemed confused at first but DH and I both slept really well. There was a thunderstorm outside so it seemed like a good time to keep him closer to us. I could tell he would rather be on the bed with us but it's too hot and I want to wait until he's older if we do that at all. My main concern is that he'd get used to it and we'd have to stop when we have an infant. We could still keep him with us in his crate even if we have an infant next to the bed with us. He wouldn't feel replaced if he's never in the bed with us. Plus, it's still too hot and he's always dirty from his walks. It was fun while camping but I don't want to worry about cleaning his footprints off of our comforter. We also have a plan to get him groomed more often during the summer. I'll take him in every six weeks and I'll shave him myself in between visits if necessary. His fur gets so matted even though I try to brush it each day. I can't even try now after the camping trip since it's so bad.

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

I got upset with DH again last night and I realized what was at the heart of it and we talked about it. Basically it's about BD. Not quality, not at all, and not even quantity, either. It's that I realized that, over the past year, I've been initiating most times. It made sense when TTC so I didn't even think about it. It was difficult at first but I started to like it. Now, though, I feel responsible when DH seems frustrated or if we haven't BD'd "enough" (by some random standard I've got in my head). As much as I like it, it's become yet another job to do, to make sure we BD. That's ridiculous but then I realized that DH is too subtle. He initiates, in a way, but I just see it as being affectionate. He's always affectionate and has been since we were dating (we waited until marriage to BD so affection doesn't equate to BD for me). But I don't do subtlety. We're like the opposite of stereotypical couples--he's the subtle one and I need him to come right out and say he wants sex for me to get the message. DH is not comfortable initiating. He would rather wait for me to definitely be ready. But, as I told him, I'm so busy now that it might not happen for a long time, till long after we're both frustrated and then we're not because we're angry. And now, out of principle, I'm not going to initiate for a long time. I think that happened over a month ago, when I didn't initiate when I had the fertile CM and, indeed, O'd that weekend. I'm sick of always being the one to initiate even if only I know it's the fertile time. DH needs to practice being direct , romancing me, until he gets comfortable with it like I got comfortable with it. I need to be courted by him. I told him that, the way God made us, I'm the recipient. If I'm the only one making it happen then I don't feel sexy. I feel rejected, like he wouldn't be with me if I didn't start it. However, if DH initiates and I, of course, accept, then he's "The Man" and I feel wanted. I'm not saying I'll never initiate because it's fun as long as it's not every time. Plus, he needs to be more direct in general. It will be good for his confidence and good for our communication. How ironic that God made me his wife, a woman who doesn't do subtlety. To make it easier for DH I actually gave him some ideas, like occasionally bringing me a little romantic gift like flowers or chocolate, or sending me an email (that, however, can be subtle) during the day telling me to expect something romantic, or just telling me in a sweet way when he gets home that he wants something special that night. I did tell him that he needs to give me plenty of time, to not wait until I'm falling asleep to initiate or he will be rejected that time. He could also go into my closet and pick out what he wants me to wear, which is something I've been trying to get him to do for a year and he won't. I could start just wearing flannel pjs every night until he gets the point but summer is not the time to make that statement, LOL. I don't think DH even cares what I wear but I think he heard me when I told him I want him to pick it out sometimes anyway. One less decision for me to make. The main point is that I want him to take over the job of making sure we BD "often enough"--enough so that we're not frustrated. I don't want to feel guilty and responsible for it not happening. I kinda worry that, if he does initiate, he'll give up if I don't jump for joy right away. He (like all guys) doesn't understand that I'm not ready all the time. I told him repeatedly that he has to give me plenty of warning and to be persistent. There are few times when I really can't, like health issues. The rest of the time I just need the time and space to let it happen. I'm always trying to juggle so many things that BD is just not on my mind. We'll see.

Joined: 11/13/06
Posts: 161

I was reading some TTC journals last night for some reason, and I think it's because of hitting my one year TTC anniversary (happy anniversary :roll: ). I think I was looking for someone who seemed to feel the same way that I do after a year of this madness. I found a lot of women who cry at each failed cycle, avoid baby showers, and get depressed when loved ones get pg--a perfectly normal response. Last night, however, I spent the evening with a friend who has a beautiful, healthy baby girl and it didn't bother me at all. I had a lot of fun and had no twinge when we went home. Am I normal? I know my clock is ticking, and I went through all this when I first starting TTC. When the woman whose baby I saw last night first got pg I went through this with her. What has changed for me?

I wonder if part of it is that I'm not doing any treatments. Most of the women who are affected the most seem to be the ones who are doing IUI and IVF. Is my coping so well (or not coping at all) a part of not doing those treatments? I know that, when you do those treatments, you think about fertility every day. You have bills for treatment, daily doses of drugs, hormonal mood-swings, and doctor visits. You have to process it to the extreme. You have pictures of babies and/or pg women at the doctor's office to remind you sometimes daily. Now, though, for me, I don't think about it much.

I've also made a lot of the decisions already. I know that, when I was first TTC, I had so many decisions to make that it took up a lot of my mental energy and time. Now I have much less to think about. I don't want to get on the clomid roller-coaster anymore. I will get a lap for possible endo. I won't do any treatment for endo since all of them so far make a woman sterile while she's on it. Right now I don't feel bad about not being proactive and, in fact, am hoping that my infertility will maintain trough the summer.

All right, sometimes I do feel a twinge of guilt for putting off treatment and not being a good infertility patient who will do anything to get pg. If I had kept on the clomid would I be pg by now? Or would I have had an ectopic and lost a tube by now? Or would I just be a lot poorer, a lot more anxious and sad, and still not pg? By not doing the treatment am I not doing what I could to give my DH a baby or am I keeping him from having to deal with the daily emotional fall-out? I will never know the answers. I have to trust God's timing is all.

The most I've thought about it lately is when I thought I might O and I hoped to get it over with. How bad is that? It's not even about a baby and just about achieving some goal. I wonder, how many of us TTC-ers have gone from wanting to be a mom to just wanting to achieve motherhood? Are we control freaks under the guise of loving women who just want a baby to care for? Or are we trying to fit in and it seems OK because we share those family values and/or religious beliefs? Does TTC become just an obsession? Will we be disappointed when motherhood isn't as joyous as we imagine? Or will motherhood really be that amazing?

Or is it a personality thing? I just loved the movie Waitress, and the funniest line to me was when she said she was the anti-mom. She hated being pg (although she had lots of reasons for that that don't affect me). When she met her baby, though, well, I won't spoil it. But I hope that, if I do get pg and hate it, that it will work out for the best. Because I can see myself hating being pg despite TTC. I'm too much of a realist. I hate pain. I do not want morning sickness and all the other stuff that goes with it. I have enough physical drama as it is.

Also, I want to be a mom but even taking care of Toby wears on me sometimes. I may not be the anti-mom but I'm no future mother-of-the-year, either. I hope to keep my part-time job after having a baby and, while I'm going to BF as much as possible, I will have a stock of bottles and pacifiers as well. I'll watch what I eat and be reasonable but I'm not going to be as careful as some women. Is that also part of why I'm not as anxious to get pg? Is it a personality thing as much as a control thing? Have I learned to be patient and found peace or do I just not have the confidence that I'll love motherhood?

Maybe, also, it's a cultural thing. I think that, in the Catholic culture, we jump to adoption earlier. There seems to be nothing but respect for adoptive families but extreme caution about even licit treatments like clomid. Whereas some other Christian religions teach that infertile couples aren't as blessed as big families and, therefore, women who don't conceive are maybe looked down on. I kinda wonder if that's happening in my own family but I don't think so. I'll learn more about the Catholic's true perspective as we get older, though, and start getting the when-are-you-going-to-have-children talks. I'm betting that our religion will be that way as much as any other group the longer we go without becoming parents. Right now I think people just see us as young and newlyweds and, therefore, we don't get any pressure to conceive. That does make this much easier for us.

I realized that, since we had finally BD'd, I hoped that I would O and, therefore, we wouldn't miss it. Then I don't have to feel bad about not even having a chance. At least my hope is justified then (since I know I'll have hope regardless of good BD timing). I still worry a little about missing it when my O is later than CD 20 and it becomes a random thing that could just happen at any time (at least through CD 85). DH and I aren't BDing as often as we did when we were first married and missing it is a very real possibility now. Now we sometimes wait long enough that it hurts me when we are together again. We really should go back to BDing at least a little more often so that it doesn't hurt so much. The added advantage would be that I wouldn't necessarily care if I O'd because we'd have more of a chance anyway no matter when it happened. Then maybe I wouldn't think about it at all until AF. I do grieve then, partly because of the cramps, partly because of the hormonal depression, and partly because something is probably wrong with us.

One way or the other, though, I don't grieve my motherhood because I know I will be a mom. I don't know how, but I am a mom. God is waiting until He knows we're ready by His standards. I feel it get closer with each passing month. I didn't used to have that certainty but I started having it after the visit to the foster-care agency.

Also, I look at what has happened over the past year to help us get ready to be parents. I thought we were ready a year ago and now I laugh about that. Who knows what will happen in this year to prepare us even more? Plus, how much closer have we gotten to God? Poverty brings people closer to God (well, not the poverty that leads to starvation, just the poverty that leads to want, lets call it a middle-class version of poverty, an emotional poverty). DH and I have called on God so much. Of course, I'm sure we would if we were expecting, too. There is always a reminder of who is really in charge. But God chose this journey for us. He gave us this desire to be parents for a reason and He won't disappoint.